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The Shamrock Chambers building facing onto Dame Street and Eustace Street. Cantrell & Crowley Architects
Dublin

Dublin City Council refuse planning permission for new hotel in Temple Bar

The nine page report recommending refusal states that the Council had serious concerns with the proposed change of use to hotel.

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL has refused planning permission to one of the country’s best known publicans, Tom Cleary for a new hotel for Dublin’s Temple Bar area.

Cleary is the owner of one of Ireland’s best known pubs, The Temple Bar in Temple Bar, and Dublin City Council has refused planning permission to Cleary for the 47-bedroom hotel facing onto Dame Street and Eustace Street as it “could lead to an over-concentration of hotel and apart hotels in the local area and a lack of variety of uses in the vicinity”.

The application involves the change of use of a building known as the Shamrock Chambers which is a five storey over basement building comprising a vacant restaurant, shop and vacant office uses to a six storey hotel.

The ground floor of the new scheme was to provide a new bar/restaurant.

In the nine page Council planner’s report recommending refusal, it stated that the Council had serious concerns with the proposed change of use to hotel.

The report stated that the Council must strike a balance between the need to provide for adequate levels of visitor accommodation and other uses in the city such as residential, social, cultural and economic uses.

The report concluded that Chambers Properties Ltd “has not adequately demonstrated that there is not an overconcentration of hotel and aparthotels in the vicinity of the site”.

The Council stated that given the current housing crisis, national planning policy and the clear direction in the current development plan in terms of promoting mixed use development with a focus on residential in the city centre, “the proposed change of use is not in accordance with development plan policy and does not represent the best use of the upper floors of this vacant city centre site”.

The Council also concluded that the the proposal is also contrary in the City Development Plan which seeks to maintain the cultural mixed use of Temple Bar and has a presumption against the expansion of licensed premises in Temple Bar.

Planning permission was previously granted for an application lodged in 2017 for the change of use to a hotel on the same site and the construction of an additional floor, but this application has expired.

However, the planner’s report stated that new City Development Plan 2022-28 acknowledged that towards the end of the last Development Plan period, the city saw numerous applications for the development of new hotels and for the expansion of existing hotel.

The report also disclosed that the applicant did not submit a report indicating all existing and proposed hotel and aparthotel developments within a 1km catchment providing a justification that the development will not undermine the principles of achieving a balanced pattern of development in the area.

A planning report by Thornton O’Connor Town Planning lodged with the new Chambers Properties Ltd 47 room hotel plan, stated that the hotel site is “in the very centre of Dublin’s tourism offering in terms of attractions, entertainment, dining/drinking and culture”.

The Thornton O’Connor report stated that the planned restaurant/bar will add to the vibrancy of Dame Street.

Patricia Thornton stated that “the proposed change of use and additional storey are a positive proposition for Shamrock Chambers, bringing an under-utilised but historic and characterful property back into a more active and sustainable state and use”.

Thornton also pointed out that “the design, including the new storey, respects the existing building and its environs, including the merits of the Conservation Area”.

The report further contended that the proposed hotel, which will have its main entrance onto Eustace Street, “will not result in an over-concentration of hotels/aparthotel accommodation in this part of the city as has been recently assessed by the council”.

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