Thursday 20 November 2008

Hilton Hotel extension and office scheme in Dublin 2 appealed

PERMISSION GRANTED to a trio of high profile developers to redevelop the 1960s office block, McConnell House, and to add a seven-storey extension to the Hilton Hotel, both on Charlemont Place, Dublin 2, have been appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Bernard McNamara, Jeremiah O'Reilly and Eamon Sheilds were granted planning permission by Dublin City Council to demolish McConnell House, a five-storey office building previously occupied by McConnell Advertising, and build an eight-storey office building in its place.

They also got the go-ahead for an extension to the rear of the Hilton Hotel comprising a conference centre, 34 hotel bedrooms, five meeting rooms, bars, lounges and a health club, increasing the total gross floor area of the hotel to 17,914sq m (192,825sq ft) and the number of bedrooms to 245.

But, in its appeal to An Bord Pleanála, the residents of Harcourt Green apartments beside the proposed hotel extension say its lack of accessibility in terms of public transport "calls into question the desirability of the 5,500sq m conference centre element of the proposal". The residents also say that, although it is on a Luas line, the hotel doesn't have direct links with mainline rail stations or to the airport and won't until completion of the Transport 21 plan for greater Dublin which is scheduled to provide a Luas/metro link to north Dublin in 2013 and a rail interconnector to the mainline rail system by 2015.

The residents say the development will have a negative impact on surrounding established residential areas including Harcourt Terrace, Peter Place, and their own Harcourt Green apartment complex of 169 apartments.

In his appeal, Tadgh Campion with an address at Charlemont Place, says irrespective of the merits of the hotel and conference element, the proposed offices represent "a functionally separate component and a speculative site maximising approach that does not have due regard to its context and location".

Among his grounds for appealing the development is that it will overshadow his property and represent a substantial increase in the bulk of development beside his property.

Irish Times

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