Northern hospitality group gets permission for hotel off Capel Street

Beannchor owns five-star Merchant Hotel in Belfast

Northern hotel and entertainment group has secured planning permission for its first major investment in the Republic after An Bord Pleanála approved its plans for a 98-bedroom hotel in Dublin's north inner city.

The board rejected an appeal by a number of parties including independent councillor Mannix Flynn and fashion photographer Perry Ogden against the decision of Dublin City Council to give the green light to the group's proposed hotel on the site of the former Boland's bakery, off Capel Street.

It is the second attempt by Beannchor, which owns the five-star Merchant Hotel in Belfast, to seek planning permission for a hotel on the site of the former bakery through its subsidiary, Cathedral Leisure.

The hotel group had its plans for a 62-bedroom hotel on the site rejected by An Bord Pleanála in early 2020 on the basis it was not an adequate design given the opportunity to develop the site.


Beannchor owner, Bill Wolsey, wants to make Dublin the second location for a Bullitt Hotel after it launched the brand in Belfast in 2016.

Subject to a number of planning conditions, the board said the proposed eight-storey development, which will also include a bar and restaurant, would not seriously injure the amenities of other properties or the local area.

One of the main objectors to the original plans, Creekvale, a rival hotel group, has not opposed the latest design as it has since secured planning permission for a 273-bedroom hotel on a nearby site off Capel Street, between Arran Street East and Little Mary Street.

‘Highly insensitive’

Mr Flynn had objected to the hotel on the grounds that it was “highly insensitive”.

The councillor claimed the plans showed contempt and disregard for those trying to make Dublin “a living and sustainable city”.

He said the new hotel would result in the saturation of such businesses in the area and would throw the balance with a living city and sustainable neighbourhoods “out of sync.”

An objection was also received from Evans Art Supplies on Meetinghouse Lane, who claimed its business would be severely impacted by construction work.

A planning inspector with An Bord Pleanála said the concentration of hotels in the area should not in itself constitute grounds for refusing planning permission for the project.

The inspector said the development of a hotel in the city centre would contribute to the revitalisation and increased vitality of the Capel Street area.