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Permission granted to demolish Howth hotel and build 177 apartments despite local opposition

The appeals board stated granting permission was justified given the Government’s policy to ramp up the delivery of new housing.

Image: GoogleStreetView

AN BORD PLEANÁLA has granted planning permission to Pat Crean’s Marlet Group to demolish the Bailey Court Hotel in Howth and replace it with 177 apartments.

The contentious apartment plan involves apartment blocks ranging from three storeys to five storeys in height on three parcels of land and the appeals board has granted planning permission in spite of widespread local opposition to the plan.

The locals’ opposition was supported by TDs, Aodhán Ó’Riordán (Lab), Sean Haughey (FF) and TDs at the time of making objections, Finian McGrath (Ind) and Tommy Broughan (Ind). Senator Catherine Noonan (FG) also expressed concerns over the plan.

The appeals board acknowledged that a grant of permission would materially contravene the allocation of 498 new homes for Howth with the application exceeding that amount when combined with other planning applications.

However, the appeals board has stated that the material contravention was justified having regard to the Government’s policy to ramp up the delivery of new housing from its current under-supply set out in Rebuilding Ireland.

The appeals board also cited six other planning policy objectives “all of which support higher density residential development consisting of apartments on public transport corridors within the built up area of Dublin City and its suburbs as proposed in this case”.

The appeals board concluded that the proposal “would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity”.

The appeals board also found that the proposal would not damage the natural heritage of the area.

Marlet also has a separate application for 512 units on the former Techrete site at Howth that is currently before the appeals board.

Consultants for Marlet, Tom Phillips & Co stated that the ‘Bailey’ proposal is well designed and complements the existing use within Howth village.

‘Monolithic’ 

In response to the 177-unit application, the appeals board received over 85 objections including those from public representatives

In his objection against the 177 unit proposal at the Bailey hotel site, Labour Party leader contender, Aodhán Ó’Riordán told the appeals board that “this proposal would introduce a scale of development that is entirely alien to the existing pattern of development which has been sensitively followed by additions to the village over the years”.

Deputy Ó’Riordán contended that the nature of the proposal would be entirely urban or city centre in its feel rather than that of a coastal village on the periphery of the city.

The Labour TD also argued that the proposed Block C near the Martello Tower “would appear monolithic”.

Deputy Ó’Riordán called on the appeals board “to refuse this application and direct the applicant towards a more sensitive development of the lands in a manner that enhances and complements the village rather than harming its unique qualities and threatens the properties of neighbouring sites”.

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Deputy Sean Haughey told the appeals board that “the plans constitute and over-development and over intensification of use of the site”.

The Dublin deputy told the board that “there is a general belief that the unique village feel of Howth will be seriously compromised should planning permission be granted”.

Former deputy Tommy Broughan lodged a 28-page objection and told the appeals board that his “constituents remain profoundly opposed to this very high-density development with all the negative structural, traffic, drainage and environmental impacts on neighbouring towns”.

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Gordon Deegan

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