Wednesday 10 June 2009

Green light for three hotels in Dublin

An Bord Pleanála has cleared the way for new hotels in Temple Bar, Phibsborough and just off the Green.

DESPITE THE intense competition on hotel room rates in Dublin because of the surfeit of hotels in the city, planning permission has just been granted for three more hotels – one of them off St Stephen’s Green, another in Temple Bar and the third in Phibsborough.

Plans by Westmeath developer Christopher Bennett for a 290-bedroom hotel in a former nurses home at Leeson Lane, just off St Stephen’s Green in Dublin 2, have been approved by An Bord Pleanála.

Bennett is understood to have agreed to pay in the region of €30 million towards the end of 2007 for a six-storey building owned by the Office of Public Works at Leeson Lane and Quinn’s Lane. It had served as a nurses home for St Stephen’s Hospital on the Green before it relocated to the Merrion Road.

Dublin City Council had earlier granted permission for an additional floor to be added to the building which is close to the Conrad Hotel.

The board said that having regard to the pattern of development in the area, it was considered that the hotel development would not seriously injure the amenities of the built heritage in the conservation area and would be acceptable in terms of design, scale, density and height.

When it offered the building for sale, the OPW took the unusual step of demolishing a second building on the site which extends to 0.29 of a hectare (0.7 of an acre). One of the attractions for a purchaser was that the site has not been subject to stamp duty.

Also going ahead is a new “Wooden Hotel” on the edge of Temple Bar at Upper Exchange Street. Accol Investments had sought permission for a 44-suite hotel on 10 floors over ground level with a roof-lit atrium from ground to roof level. The development would have had 12 storeys over ground with roof gardens at fifth, ninth and 11th floors. A total of 14 car-parking spaces are to be provided at Fashion House, 18 Upper Exchange Street.

The board decided to reduce the height of the building by a further two floors, bringing the overall reduction to four floors, because it considered the development would be visually obtrusive and would seriously injure the residential amenity of the apartments to the north-west and also the wooden building by reason of overshadowing and overbearing impact. The board ruled that floors seven to 10 should be omitted and the roof should be kept free of all structures. It also ruled that details of the elevations of the amended hotel building should be submitted to, and agreed with, the planning authority prior to commencement of development.

In a separate ruling the appeals board has cleared the way for businessman Maurice O’Connor to develop a 45-bedroom hotel at North Circular Road, Phibsborough. The development will involve the demolition of part of Chester House and the construction of a two-storey hotel with a setback penthouse level.

The board ruled that a proposed drop off area to the front of the hotel on North Circular Road should be omitted.

Irish Times

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