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Dublin: 15 °C Sunday 26 May, 2019
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Homeowner says new Dublin city centre hotel would block his 'right to light'

Mark and Andrew Cosgrave want to build a 175-bed hotel in Dublin city centre.

Image: Google Maps

A PROPOSED DUBLIN city centre hotel being built by the sons of one of Ireland’s biggest developers has been put on hold, after a resident claimed it would breach his ‘right to light’.

Last month a firm called the Dublin Loft Company received planning permission to build a hotel at 6-11 Hendrick Street near Smithfield Square, a prime location in Dublin city centre.

Dublin Loft Company is a firm controlled by Mark and Andrew Cosgrave, the sons of Peter Cosgrave, one of Ireland’s best known builders and the head of the Cosgrave Group.

The development would be the most significant yet for the young builders, aged just 26 and 30 respectively, who also recently developed a small block of 15 apartments in Smithfield.

Mark Cosgrave told Fora that, if it does go ahead, the hotel will be by far the company’s biggest project to date.

“It would be by far our biggest development, going from 15 apartments to a hotel is a big jump,” he said.

The Cosgraves received permission to build the 175-bedroom hotel that could stretch up to seven storeys and will extend to 60,000 sq ft. It will replace the existing 3,000 sq ft single-storey property at the site.

It is proposed that the ground floor of the hotel will have a bar, dining areas and offices, as well as a landscaped courtyard area outside.

Protected structure

The house next to the proposed hotel, 12 Hendrick Street, is a protected structure. An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, already asked for the development to be scaled down to show “appropriate sensitivity” to the nearby house.

Dublin City Council granted the Cosgraves permission for development, but the owner of the house, John McKenna, has appealed that decision.

smithfield 2 Smithfield square

A letter sent on behalf of McKenna, who has an address at College Hill in Slane, Meath, said that 12 Hendrick Street “is the sole surviving house from an elegant terrace of early Georgian houses”.

“The proposed development will completely block the light to rear windows, leaving rear rooms in a state of semi-permanent darkness. The right to light is being compromised by the proposed development,” it said.

“The redevelopment of the historic core of Dublin city adjacent to a protected structure requires more sensitive design solution than this. We therefore submit that the local authority should be overturned.”

The case is due to be decided in June.

Cosgrave group

The hotel would be a big development for the Cosgrave sons if it does go ahead, in one of the most desirable locations in the city.

Mark Cosgrave said that the 15 apartments that made up the pair’s Oxmanstown Loft development sold out in a single weekend. He and his brother are also developing another lot of 15 apartments, dubbed Hanover Lofts, near Grand Canal Dock.

“We have a couple of things that we are looking to do north side in the next while,” he said. “Getting the hotel through will be the main thing and then we will see how it goes.”

He declined to comment on the specifics of the dispute with An Bord Pleanála as he did not want to prejudice the authority’s decision.

The brothers’ father, Peter Cosgrave, started his own property group with his brothers, Joseph and Michael, in 1979. The company grew to become one of the largest builders in Ireland.

In 2014 it sold a huge property portfolio to investment property firm Green REIT in a deal worth €375 million.

The portfolio included office buildings at George’s Quay and George’s Court in Dublin 2 and retail and commercial space in Westend Retail Park in Blanchardstown.

In September it announced one of its largest projects in recent years, a €60 million office building in Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre which is set to be constructed over 18 months.

Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie

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