An Bord Pleanála approves Kilmainham hotel and office proposal

Dublin City Council had previously refused plans, which have been slimmed down

An Bord Pleanála has signed off on slimmed down proposals for an office block and hotel at Heuston South Quarter in Kilmainham, central Dublin

An Bord Pleanála has approved plans for a 12-storey office block and scaled-own hotel as part of a mixed-use scheme for Heuston South Quarter (HSQ) in Kilmainham, central Dublin.

The majority ruling by the three-person appeals board overturns a decision in 2022 by Dublin City Council to refuse permission for what was then a five-storey, 238-bedroom hotel and the office building.

At that time the council refused planning permission to HPREF HSQ Investments Ltd after concluding that the scheme’s scale would adversely impact on the setting and character of the adjoining Royal Hospital Kilmainham (RKH), which the council describe “as a built heritage asset which is of international importance”.

Yet the appeals board concluded that concerns around the potential for damage to what is known as the cone of vision – essentially the view of and from the hospital – have been satisfactorily addressed through design changes and would not result in any unacceptable residual impacts from the new buildings.

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The appeals board planning inspector in the case, Stephen Ward, concluded that a proposal by the applicants to remove two floors from the hotel and other design changes “would satisfactorily address concerns about the impact of the original proposal”.

Mr Ward said he was satisfied “that the revised proposal provides a significant reduction in building height, coupled with a greater set-back distance from the RHK site”.

He added that while the offices are obviously bigger than the hotel the taller elements of the block “are set back a significant distance of 70 metres from the garden boundary wall”.

“At this significant remove from the RHK boundary I am satisfied that it would satisfactorily integrate with the existing development within HSQ, and would not seriously detract from the character or setting of any structures within the RHK campus.”

Former environment editor at The Irish Times Frank McDonald, along with co-litigant Paul Leech, has brought High Court judicial review proceedings against a connected planning permission for a build-to-rent apartment scheme as part of the overall Heuston South Quarter redevelopment.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times