An Bord Pleanála has given permission to the Conrad hotel for plans to transform its Dublin 2 property “into a world-class five-star hotel”.
The decision upholds a grant of permission by Dublin City Council for an eight-storey extension that will increase the number of hotel rooms at the Conrad at Earlsfort Terrace off St Stephen’s Green by 88 to 280.
The “significant investment” also includes a two-level rooftop bar terrace and a new facade for the hotel. This will leave the Conrad property with an extra floor, bringing it to nine storeys.
Archer Hotel Capital, the specialist European hotel investment vehicle that bought the Conrad for €115 million in 2019, has secured the permission.
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The proposed development came before the appeals board after two office block owners appealed the grant of permission.
In the first appeal, Irish Life Assurance plc cited the potential loss of daylight to Dolmen House. In the second, Irish Life Assurance plc, New Ireland Assurance Company plc and IBI Property Nominees Ltd highlighted the same issue in relation to St Stephen’s Green House.
The appeals board granted planning permission following a recommendation to do so by inspector Susan Clarke.
In her report, Ms Clarke noted that “the crux of this appeal case relates to the potential loss of daylight to surrounding office buildings as a result of the proposed development”.
Ms Clarke found the impacts in terms of loss of light to the surrounding office developments to be acceptable given that they relate to commercial premises in the city centre and there are no known circumstances for these buildings to require a certain prescribed lighting standard.
The board granted planning permission for the scheme after concluding that the proposed development “would constitute an acceptable quantum and density of development in this accessible urban location”.
The board also found that the scheme would facilitate the consolidation and compact growth of the city centre, would make a positive contribution to the visual amenity of the area and would not have any undue impact on the amenities of the property in the vicinity.
BKD Architects, architects for the scheme, told the city council that the proposed development “will create a world-class five-star hotel”.