Green light for Donnybrook hotel on site linked to Denis O’Brien
Hotel being developed by a firm controlled by a nephew of O’Brien despite local objections
Partenay Unlimited, a company linked to several of Denis O’Brien’s property investments, owns the land. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Dublin City Council has given the go-ahead for the development of a six-storey hotel on a site in Donnybrook owned by a company linked to businessman Denis O’Brien.
The 71-bedroom hotel is being developed by Kouchin Holdings, a company controlled by former Topaz boss Emmet O’Neill, who is a nephew of Mr O’Brien.
Planning documents lodged in 2017 show that the lands are owned by Partenay Unlimited, a company linked to several of Mr O’Brien’s property investments.
The local authority initially gave permission for the hotel development to proceed last August, but this was appealed by several local residents and the Donnybrook Tidy Towns organisation.
Residents had complained that the development was “over dominant and out of proportion to and out of character with the surrounding built environment of Donnybrook”, and that the privacy of nearby residences would be affected.
The tidy towns group, meanwhile, argued that the development “is overbearing and visually obtrusive in the streetscape”, and raised concerns over the impact of a projected 680 daily visitors on traffic in the area.
The group also raised concerns that the hotel was adjacent to the protected structure on the site of the Donnybrook Magdalene laundries, and that subsurface archaeological artefacts “may be disturbed”.
However, an inspector’s report for the council recommended that the granting of permission from August be upheld, with only minor changes to conditions around site development, building works and sustainable waste management.
In its order confirming permission, the local authority stated that the hotel “would not seriously injure the visual amenities and character of Donnybrook village, the residential amenities of adjoining properties or the integrity of historic properties”.
It found that the hotel development was “in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.