An Bord Pleanála allows en-suite bathroom in Lambay Castle

Baron Revelstoke wants to amend guest wing on Dublin island to attract ‘high-end’ visitors

Lambay Castle, parts of which are understood to date from 1467, was bought by the Baring banking family more than 110 years ago and has been in private use since

Lambay Castle, parts of which are understood to date from 1467, was bought by the Baring banking family more than 110 years ago and has been in private use since

 

A row among the extended Baring family over the installation of an en-suite bathroom in the 100-year old guest wing of Lambay Castle has been brought to a close by An Bord Pleanála.

The planning board has ruled in favour of the Lambay Estate Company, controlled by Alex Baring, the seventh Baron Revelstoke, which wants to install en-suite facilities to attract “high-end visitors” to the castle on Lambay Island, 4km off the north Dublin coast.

Lord Revelstoke’s cousin, Beatrice Kelly, and her husband Niall McManus had appealed against the bathroom plan.

The castle, parts of which are understood to date from 1467, was bought by the British banking family more than 110 years ago and has been in private use since.

Medieval livable

Much of the decoration and furniture of the Lutyens’s remodelling remains intact, including the original sanitary fittings.

Last June the estate company was granted permission to upgrade the historic buildings on the island to make them suitable for commercial use for up to 70 nights a year.

Last August the company made an application to amend this permission to add an en-suite bathroom. This was granted by Fingal County Council, but was appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Ms Kelly and Mr McManus, who had previously objected to the plan to open up the castle and other buildings to tourism.

Castle residents

In their appeal, they said the case had not been made that the bathroom was necessary to make the commercial venture a success. It was “alarming” that the return on the “massive investment” into Lambay’s infrastructure “hangs on whether a single room can have an en-suite bathroom or not”.

They argued that the bathroom would be “only the first of a series of alterations that will be required to serve the needs for high-end clientele.”