Blarney mixed use scheme approved despite Blarney Castle objections

Board overrules council and inspector to give green light to Blarney Woollen Mills plan

The Blarney Woollen Mills Group has secured planning permission for a new 80-bedroom hotel for Blarney despite opposition to the scheme from the operators of Blarney Castle.

An Bórd Pleanála approved the scheme which includes a supermarket alongside 70 residential units in 11 separate buildings on Wednesday.

Cork City Council earlier this year refused permission for the proposal on the grounds of the former Blarney Park Hotel at St Ann's Road, Blarney. Among the reasons cited was that it would be intrusive when viewed from Blarney Castle and in views towards the castle, and would detract from the special character of the castle.

Allowing the appeal, An Bórd Pleanála also overruled its own inspector, Pauline Fitzpatrick, who recommended that it be refused after concluding that the scheme would be visually dominant, out of character and visually detract from the heritage value of the area.

The appeals board stated that the scheme would constitute an acceptable quantum, mix and density of development “in this accessible and central urban village location”. It also found that the scheme would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area.