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A CGI render of what the proposed hotel will look like Tetrarch
Planning Permission

Plans for 142-bedroom hotel within grounds of Howth Castle put on hold following appeal

Under the plans, the existing Deer Park Hotel will be completely demolished and replaced with the new building.

Plans for a new 142-bedroom hotel on the grounds of the Howth Estate in Co Dublin by the property investment group, Tetrarch Capital, have been put on hold following an objection by a former mayor of Fingal.

Separately, the developer has also lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against a number of conditions attached to the grant of planning permission for the new hotel which it claims will threaten the viability of the business.

Former mayor and Green Party councillor, David Healy, has lodged an appeal with the board against the recent decision of Fingal County Council to grant planning permission to Tetrarch for the construction of a four-storey hotel and leisure centre on a 7.16 hectare site within the grounds of the former Deer Park Hotel and golf course in Howth.

The proposed “destination” hotel being planned by the owners of the Citywest Hotel in Saggart, includes a rooftop restaurant, bar and terrace, function area, spa, fitness centre and swimming pool.

Under the plans, the existing Deer Park Hotel which closed in 2014, will be completely demolished and replaced with the new building which will have panoramic views over Ireland’s Eye, Howth Harbour and Dublin Bay.

The former hotel has been used to house refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In his appeal, Healy claim there were elements of the developer’s plans which were concerning including the failure to provide a demolition justification report as required under the Fingal Development Plan 2023-2029.

Healy stressed that he had no issue with the principle of the site being used for a hotel and welcomed plans to upgrade and improve on the existing facilities.

He also claimed there was “confusion and considerable concern” about references to fences and gates by the owners of the site in recent communications, despite giving a commitment to continuing public access to the Howth Estate.

“The decision on this application should ensure pedestrian accessibility between the hotel and the neighbouring town and residential areas and with the other amenity lands of Howth,” said Healy.

Separately, Tetrarch has appealed the council’s decision requiring it to omit a new access road for the hotel through the Howth Estate from St Mary’s Church in Howth.

The appeal has been made in the name of WSHI, the company which oversees the operation of the Deer Park Hotel and its grounds.

Consultants for WSHI said the condition would unnecessarily have a significant negative impact on its plans including the viability of the hotel development.

They claimed a report they commissioned showed the new access road would ensure the safety of vulnerable road users as well as providing a modern and operationally acceptable access for a commercial hotel.

The company said the proposed access road would have no significant adverse landscape or visual effects.

It has also challenged another condition requiring it to reduce the number of proposed car parking spaces from 170 to 101.

Healy said he strongly supported the council’s decision to refuse permission for a duplicate access road.

Tetrarch had originally hoped to begin construction work on the new hotel this year with the aim of opening the business for guests in 2025.

The company expects the new facility will create around 280 full- and part-time jobs when it is fully operational.

It is also considering the development of an 18-hole championship golf course within the Howth Estate adjacent to the proposed hotel.

A ruling by An Bord Pleanála on the various appeals is due in early January 2024.

In July, Fingal County Council also refused WSHI planning permission for a proposed cemetery on a 8.8-hectare site within the Howth Estate.

A separate €10m redevelopment of Howth Castle by WSHI and the Michael J Wright Group to transform it into a retail, food and tourist destination including a 150-seat restaurant, which was granted planning permission by the council earlier this year is also the subject of both first and third-party appeals to An Bord Pleanála.

Tetrarch acquired Howth Castle and Demesne together with Ireland’s Eye from the Gaisford-St Lawrence family in 2019 for an undisclosed sum.

Seán McCárthaigh
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