Dublin City Council rejects plans for 11-storey hotel in docklands

Sean Doyle’s Harbourmaster Bar Ltd lodged plans last month for the 96-bed development

Plans for an 11-storey hotel behind the Harbourmaster Bar in Dublin’s docklands have been rejected by Dublin City Council.

Sean Doyle’s Harbourmaster Bar Ltd lodged plans last month for the 96-bedroom hotel, with its adviser, Downey Planning and Architecture, contending that the proposal “incorporates a stellar architectural design that can make a real contribution to the wider city”.

However, in a comprehensive refusal, the council said the proposed development constitutes an overbearing, excessive and out-of-scale development. It concluded that the scheme would represent significant overdevelopment of a sensitive site to the rear of the pub which is a protected structure.

Local authority planners also found that the proposal would “cause serious injury to the amenity, special architectural character and setting of the protected structure”, and also cause serious injury to the George’s Dock conservation area – “a grouping of structures which are an important remnant of Dublin’s historic docklands and industrial heritage”.


The hotel’s height, scale and massing would be contrary to the Dublin City Development Plan, it concluded.

The council received only two submissions in relation to the scheme, both mainly concerned with noise issues from a planned 10th-storey bar.

Downey Planning and Architecture told the council that following recent planning permissions for the area ranging from 10 to 16 storeys, the proposed 11-storey height for the hotel is well established in the area.

In a submission, it said the planned hotel “is a bespoke design to ensure that the scheme successfully integrates within the site’s context”, adding that the high quality building design is “in keeping with the modern and mid- to high-rise location of the site”.

It said that only a few years ago the subject site was surrounded by derelict and abandoned buildings and said the planned hotel would “contribute to the establishment of the protected structure as a landmark within the area”.

The applicants are seeking to build on a site currently occupied by a 1990s-built two-storey extension to the Harbourmaster Bar. The Harbourmaster was built between 1820 and 1840 and served as the harbourmaster dock office.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times