Tuesday 22 October 2019

Appeal against plans for hotel at South Quay

Myles Buchanan

An appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála against planning permission granted for a 25-bedroom hotel at South Quay in Wicklow town.

BPS Planning consultants, Irish planning institute town planning and development consultants have submitted the appeal on behalf of 17 residents living nearby to the planned development at properties on Castle Street, Market Street and Quarantine Hill.

Wicklow County Council granted Waterbrand Holdings Ltd permission for a 25-bedroom hotel made out of shipping containers in February of this year. The permission allowed for the demolition of two warehouses on South Quay. There are also plans for a café/restaurant, wine bar and roof terrace and 14 car parking spaces.

Residents attached to the appeal are 'not opposed to the development' of the site but consider that any 'development proposal must be appropriate to the site and not impact on properties in the vicinity.'

A number of reasons for objecting to the development are included in the appeal, such as the height of the five story building. According to BPS: 'There is no five storey building in this part of Wicklow (or, my clients believe, in Wicklow Town as a whole), therefore, how can this proposal - for a building taller than any other in the entire town - be acceptable?'

Other concerns include the heigh of a rooftop bar and fears it could overlook and impact on nearby residential properties.

In the appeal BPS state : 'The applicant proposes a very large front elevation to the South Quay. BPS is not convinced that in the absence of the use of containers, that such a dominant visual form would be considered acceptable. Containers are only a material and should not cause us to ignore that the proposed elevation's monolithic, unbroken height, scale and massing would be overbearing onto the quays.'

The appeal also argues that there is no night time use in this part of Wicklow town at present, and therefore it isn't considered a suitable location for the proposed hotel. Questions are also raised over the environmental sustainability of the development.

BPS also state: 'Having reviewed the full planning application and WCC's assessment of same, BPS and our clients do not consider that were this hotel proposed to be constructed in standard materials that it would be considered acceptable as currently proposed. My clients submit that the proposal should be re-designed and re-submitted in a revised form that is more sensitive to the site and to the surrounding area.'

The appeal is to be decided by June 24.

Wicklow People