A LONDON SERVICED apartment and hotel company has been granted permission to open 20 serviced apartments in Dublin city centre, overturning a decision by council planners despite An Bord Pleanála’s own inspector recommending against it.
Permission was granted this week by ABP for UK company Marlin to build the 20 serviced apartments along with a bar/ restaurant at Nos 22/24 Aungier Street and No 40 Bow Lane East in Dublin.
The buildings date back to the 18th century and are protected structures.
Once built, the development will form an annex to a 300-room Marlin Hotel currently under construction on Bow Lane and due to be opened in July of this year.
Serviced apartments are short-term let accommodation providing hotel-like amenities for guests.
The plans for apartments were originally refused by Dublin City Council planners in December of last year. Marlin appealed this to ABP, which reversed the decision, despite its own inspector recommending against the development.
Refuse of permission
In originally refusing permission, council planners rejected the plans under three conditions.
Firstly, it was found that the plans would result in apartments for residential use being converted to hotel lettings. This would go against the Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022 and the Dublin Housing Strategy 2016-2022.
Because residential buildings are scarce in the city, planners judged that the loss of residential apartments would not represent proper or sustainable planning.
Secondly, planners stated that the creation of a basement level in the proposed development also went against the city’s development plan of discouraging underground or basement development in protected structures or listed Conservation Areas.
Finally, planners found that the development would “seriously injure the special architectural character and integrity” of the protected structures.
In its order, ABP overturned DCC’s decision and granted permission for the development with a number of conditions attached.
In granting permission, ABP rejected a recommendation made by its own inspector to refuse permission.
The Board found that the development would be “an appropriate re-use of buildings which are in a poor state of repair and part dilapidated”, that it would not affect the architectural integrity of the buildings of the area and that it would not represent an overdevelopment.
The conditions involve ensuring that all the works are carried out in accordance with best conservation practices; that a proper record is made of the Protected Structures; and that an archaeological appraisal of the site is carried out, among other conditions.
The planned development has been designed by Cantrell & Crowley Architects. A spokesperson for Marlin said in a statement that the buildings will be “restored to their former glory”
“The project will have a transformative effect on this dilapidated section of the street and will enhance the area as it becomes established as the Aungier Street Quarter,” the said.
The development will form an annex to the 300-room Marlin Hotel, which is due to open on 19 July. The hotel is one of many currently under construction in Dublin city.