Major setback in €50m Donnybrook hotel plan

Dublin City Council rejects plan from by Hayfield Family Collection

Plans by one of Munster’s leading hotel groups to break into the Dublin market have suffered a major setback after its proposal for a €50 million new five-star property was rejected.

Dublin City Council has refused planning permission to Donnybrook Hotel, a company owned by hoteliers Joe and Margaret Scally, for a hotel on the site of the former St Mary's College in Donnybrook.

The Scallys, who own the Hayfield Family Collection, which includes the five-star Hayfield Manor Hotel in Cork as well as the Killarney Royal Hotel and the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney, had hoped to convert and extend the former Carmelite seminary on Bloomfield Avenue in Donnybrook into a luxury hotel with a spa facility, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools.

The proposed development also provided for a new steel-and-glass orangery, which would include a tearoom and outdoor terrace.

However, Dublin City Council has rejected the project claiming it did not meet the zoning objective of the 1.2-hectare site as 25 per cent of the land was not set aside for open space and/or community facilities.

Protected structure

Council planners also ruled that the proposed development, due to its height, would adversely affect the setting of the former college, which is a protected structure, as well as an adjacent terrace of listed buildings.

Last year Mark Scally, the financial director of the Hayfield Family Collection, said the company expected to invest at least €50 million in developing the hotel, which would have 195 guest rooms.

The Scally family bought the property for just under €16 million in early 2018, although the original guide price when it first came on the market the previous year was only €10 million.

Any appeal against the council's ruling to An Bord Pleanála must be made before April 14th.