Crosbie Hanover Quay hotel plan rejected by council
Businessman turned down in row over public access to waterfront next to planned U2 visitor centre
Harry Crosbie has been refused planning permission for a luxury boutique hotel at his current home on Dublin’s Hanover Quay in a row over public access to the waterfront. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Mr Crosbie was planning to convert his own home at 9 Hanover Quay at Grand Canal Dock into a four-star, 19 bedroom hotel with guest bars and dining areas looking on to the waterfront.
The hotel – which had faced local opposition – was to complement the planned U2 visitor centre on an adjacent site. That project received planning permission last week.
However, the city council has turned down permission for the hotel after Mr Crosbie refused to countenance free access for the public to the waterfront at the planned hotel.
In a further information request last year, the council requested Mr Crosbie investigate the possibility of maximising public access to the quayside at his planned hotel. In response, Mr Crosbie wrote that if the council “insists on an open quayside, then I would prefer to abandon the project and stay as we are now”.
Mr Crosbie, who has helped transform Dublin’s docklands over the years with the construction of the Point music venue, now the 3Arena, and the Bord Gáis theatre – stated: “To allow free access would bring chaos and would be unsafe and attract anti-social behaviour in this very narrow strip. This behaviour can be unpleasant and nasty.
“It would be impossible to run a business with huge crowds of young people regularly sunbathing right up against our windows as now regularly happens around the basin on summer days.”
Mr Crosbie added: “We have no problem with people using the quayside provided they enter through the main doors and we can control the numbers and the behaviour.”
The council refused planning on two grounds, chiefly that the lack of access within the proposal “is considered a lost opportunity for pedestrian engagement with the waterfront along Grand Canal”.
The council has ruled that the development would be contrary to North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme which has an objective to maximise public pedestrian access to all water body frontages.
“The proposed development would also create a precedent for similar type suboptimal development.”
Mr Crosbie’s home, bought for €18,000 27 years ago, is a protected structure and the council also refused planning on the grounds that the proposal would seriously injure the special architectural character of the protected structure.
While a sensitive and appropriate redevelopment may be welcomed in the future, the city’s planner said, the applicant had failed in this instance to address the issues and concerns expressed by the council.