Bord rejects scheme at site of Courtown hotels


Plans to demolish two hotels in the seaside resort of Courtown, Co Wexford, to make way for an apartment scheme have been refused by An Bord Pleanála because it would spoil the character of the costal village.

Developers John Wall and Joseph Germaine proposed to knock the Bayview Hotel on the harbour front, and the adjoining Ounavarra Hotel, on Main Street, to make way for 77 apartments, retail units, a fitness centre, crèche, bar, restaurant and function rooms.

A public car-park adjoining the hotels also formed part of the 0.44-hectare site.

The development, designed by Carlow-based architect Dermot Geoghegan, had a proposed height of up to five storeys over a two-storey basement, compared to the current three-storey height of the two hotels.

In refusing permission, the planning board said the proposed scheme "would adversely affect the character of this coastal village".

The scheme's height and density would result in overdevelopment of the harbourside site, it stated.

However, the board noted that a mixed-use scheme on the site is "acceptable in principal".

The board's inspector said that the proposed density of 175 units per hectare was excessive for a rural coastal village location.

The architectural style, scale and density of the scheme is "not satisfactorily sympathetic with the existing character of the area", the inspector added.

In 2003 the developers were refused permission for a larger scheme comprising 112 apartments over four-to-six floors because it would have had a negative visual impact on the character of the village.