Dublin hotel secures permission for extension despite opposition

An Bord Pleanála ignored inspector’s advice regarding Iveagh Garden Hotel’s plan

A bedroom in the Iveagh Garden hotel on Harcourt Street. An Bord Pleanála imposed a condition which will result in 12 of the 52 planned additional bedrooms being omitted.

A bedroom in the Iveagh Garden hotel on Harcourt Street. An Bord Pleanála imposed a condition which will result in 12 of the 52 planned additional bedrooms being omitted.

 

One of Dublin’s newest hotels – the Iveagh Garden Hotel on Harcourt Street – has secured planning permission for an extension that will increase its bed capacity by almost a third, despite opposition from a planning inspector and Dublin City Council.

The hotel’s owner, Olema Property Holdings, has successfully appealed the council’s decision to reject its application to construct a large extension which will bring the Iveagh Garden’s capacity to 197 guest rooms.

In order to address concerns about the impact of the development on neighbouring buildings, however, An Bord Pleanála imposed a condition which will result in 12 of the 52 additional bedrooms planned by the hotel being omitted.

The decision will bring the total number of guest rooms in the hotel to 185.

The Iveagh Garden, which opened in 2018 at an estimated cost of €40 million, claims to be “Europe’s first sustainable hotel” due to its unique energy system which harvests power from the River Swan, which flows 50m below its foundations.

Seven-storey extension

An Bord Pleanála ruled that the company’s plans to construct a seven-storey extension to the rear of two buildings on Harcourt Street, as well as a change of use of an existing building from office to hotel, would sensitively integrate into the existing streetscape and would not seriously injure the character or setting of adjoining protected structures.

The board ignored the advice of its own planning inspector, who concurred with council planners that the design, scale and height of the proposed extension, as well as its proximity to other buildings, did not relate sensitively to the special architectural character of listed buildings on Harcourt Street.

They also claimed the extension would cause serious injury to the setting of listed buildings and would represent an undesirable precedent, if approved, while also being overbearing on neighbouring residential properties.

The development, which involves the demolition of an existing extension at the back of one of the buildings, was also opposed by An Taisce.

The hotel is owned by Brian and Sally McGill, who also operate two other hotels on Harcourt Street – the Harcourt Hotel and Harrington Hall.