Ronan wins battle to have hotel removed from 22-storey tower

Alterations still provided appropriate mix and level of development – An Bord Pleanála

The 22-story Aqua Vetro tower will be on the corner of Tara Street and George’s Quay. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Developer Johnny Ronan has won his planning battle to have the hotel element of his 22-storey Aqua Vetro tower planned for Dublin's quays removed.

This follows An Bord Pleanála overturning a decision last October by Dublin City Council to refuse Mr Ronan's Tanat Ltd application to change the hotel element over four storeys of the tower at Tara Street and George's Quay to office use.

The council refused permission after concluding that the planned change “would negatively impact on the vitality of the inner city location, particularly outside of standard office hours”.

However, An Bord Pleanála’s inspector in the case said he did not consider the council’s refusal justified and the alterations proposed still provided for an appropriate mix and level of development.


In its formal order, the board found the proposal to omit the hotel element would not detract from the visual amenities of the area, would be acceptable in the context of the vitality of the area and would provide an appropriate mix of development.

Covid-19 effects

As part of the appeal, a property expert on behalf of Mr Ronan’s Tanat Ltd, Executive VP of Hotels and Hospitality at JLL, Daniel O’Connor, said there was no likelihood of Tanat receiving a commercially viable proposal from a hotel tenant at this time due to the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry.

Mr Ronan secured planning permission for the 22-storey tower, including the hotel over four floors in the podium element of the scheme, from An Bord Pleanála in April 2019.

Planning consultant for Tanat, John Spain, told the board "due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding international travel and tourism to the city, the viability of a hotel use as part of this development cannot attract investment in order to deliver upon the development of this strategic brown field site".

He said that “in order to deliver upon the regeneration objective of this site and to create a landmark building, it is essential that a change of use to office is permitted in order to commence construction on the project”.

Mr Spain said there had been a significant number of hotel developments permitted in the immediate vicinity of the site that would adequately cater for the needs of tourists.

In 2020 alone, planning applications for 20 hotel developments had been lodged comprising 2,735 rooms in the city centre, he said. This was in addition to the 154 hotels already in operation providing 20,290 rooms and 47,480 beds.

Mr Spain said there was a healthy supply of hotel accommodation in Dublin and “the proposed change of use from hotel to office will not materially impact on the overall level of hotel accommodation in the city”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times