AN BORD Pleanála has turned down plans to introduce balconies to a three-storey hotel apartment complex alongside the Killarney National Park, Co Kerry.
Bill Cullen and Jackie Lavin had submitted that balconies had been allowed in several other hotel and guesthouse complexes in the area.
The 16 glass-fronted balconies were to be introduced to an annexe of private residential apartments, part of the Muckross Park Hotel complex, one of Killarney's oldest and most historic hotels.
Formerly part of the original Herbert estate, dating to the late 18th century, Muckross Park is a five-star hotel and spa and the precise area is zoned secondary special amenity. The apartments are separate from the hotel on the Mangerton road and are alongside the Blue Pool wood of the Killarney National Park.
An Taisce had submitted to the council the balcony feature was "a non-traditional feature" and was not desirable in a rural area.
Silvermire Ltd - Mr Cullen and Ms Lavin - appealed Kerry County Council's decision to refuse permission, saying they would have little visual impact and were necessary to improve private open space and a sit-out area for residents.
They referred to similar balconies at the nearby Lake Hotel, overlooking a prime special amenity area, a higher amenity zoning, of Lough Leane. They attached photographs of other guesthouses and hotels in the area with balconies or outside decking.
The council had felt property nearby would be devalued by the balconies and they were not part of the built heritage of the area.
An Bord Pleanála said their introduction would be "visually obtrusive and out of character with the area".
The Irish Times