Permission granted for a 5-star “boutique” hotel in Dublin

The owners of Ashford Castle have secured planning permission for a 60-bedroom five-star ’boutique’ hotel in the capital.

An Bord Pleanala has granted planning permission to Red Carnation Hotels (UK) Ltd for the conversion and extension of a former Jesuit University student residence at Hatch Hall into a 60 bedroom hotel.

The plan – which includes a new eight-storey extension – was put on hold last year after resident Brian O’Regan appealed against Dublin City Council‘s decision to greenlight the project.

However, the appeal board has now granted planning permission for the project after concluding that development of the hotel “would constitute an acceptable quantum of development in this accessible urban location”.

The council also concluded that the hotel would not alter the mixed-use character of the area and would not seriously impair the amenities of surrounding properties or the visual amenities of the area.

The council also granted planning permission after finding that the hotel would not harm the setting of the on-site protected structure, Hatch Hall.

In reaching its decision, the council said it took into account the national planning policy which aims to steer new developments in cities towards serviced areas.

Living close to the proposed development site, Mr O’Regan of Hatch Place, Dublin 2 employed BPS Planning Consultants to draft the appeal which ran to 30 pages.

Brendan Buck of BPS Planning Consultants told council that neither Mr O’Regan nor his family had any objections in principle to the proposed development, which is located between Earlsfort Terrace and Leeson Street.

However, the appeal argued that the proposed development should be denied permission under seven separate headings.

In the appeal, Mr Buck argued that the eight-storey tower element of the hotel would negatively impact the O’Regan property, the streetscape and the Georgian context in the area.

Mr. Buck argued that the tower’s density, height, scale, mass and volume are such that it would represent a visually distracting and visually dominating addition to the area’s skyline.

“The proposed development would remove all privacy from our customers and reduce their privacy potential in the future,” the appeal said.

“Our client has children and he does not want residents of this hotel to be able to look at his property and watch his children play,” he added.

However, council inspector Pauline Fitzpatrick recommended planning permission be granted.

Ms Fitzpatrick concluded that “the proposed development would not seriously impair the amenities of the area to such an extent that it would adversely affect the enjoyment or value of nearby property”.

In her closing remarks, Ms. Fitzpatrick admitted that the redevelopment of the site presents certain challenges due to its location and context and that a balance must be struck between maximizing the development potential of this important downtown location and its architectural and cultural heritage and that of the surrounding area.

However, Ms Fitzpatrick felt that overall “the proposed development is acceptable in terms of the cultural and built heritage of the site, would not alter its form and integrity and will contribute positively to the character and vitality of the site. The area. .”

CBRE director John Hughes told Dublin City Council that while Dublin has a strong ‘pipeline’ of hotels, only 3% are classified as 5 star.

Mr Hughes said there is currently a limited supply of five-star hotels in Dublin, which account for just 12 of the capital’s 214 hotels, which equates to 1,793 rooms or an 8% share.

Hatch Hall is a protected structure and a planning consultant for Red Carnation, John Spain said use as a five-star hotel “would ensure the building is restored and conserved, protecting it in future with viable use. “.

Reporting by Gordon Deegan

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