HomeFashionConor McGregor’s Howth hotel plans refused by council as local opposition feared...

Conor McGregor’s Howth hotel plans refused by council as local opposition feared ‘Ibiza’ style party venue


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The Council has refused planning permission to G Boppers Ltd for the 35-bedroom hotel after a wave of local opposition with one local woman raising concerns that the hotel may be an Ibiza-style party venue on the site of the The Waterside Bar, Harbour Road and Church Street, Howth.

G Boppers Ltd was seeking planning permission to demolish a part-four storey and part-two storey building and in their place construct a part five-storey and part four-storey terraced building.

The scheme was to include a pub and restaurant and boutique hotel bedrooms on the second, third and fourth floors including a 122 square metre residents’ terrace area.

Now, in a refusal on two grounds, the Council has concluded that the proposal “would interfere with the character of the landscape or with a view or prospect of special amenity value or natural interest or beauty”.

The Council also found that the development proposal would adversely affect an Architectural Conservation Area (ACA) and contravene the Fingal Development Plan.

The planning authority refused the scheme on these grounds after finding that there was an absence of a high quality architectural approach to justify demolishing an existing significant building within the ACA taken in conjunction with the design, scale, mass and height of the planned hotel.

The most recent accounts for G Boppers Ltd show that in 2022, McGregor Sports and Entertainment Ltd provided €2.24m in interest-free funding to the firm. During the same period, G Boppers Ltd acquired land and buildings with a book value of €2.08m.

A Design Report lodged with the application by Prof Cathal O’Neill + Company Architects contended that the scheme “seeks to make appropriate use of the site which has been under-utilised for many years and to provide guest accommodation which is sorely needed in the area”.

Architect with the firm, Garrett O’Neill told the council that “local social media laments the loss of hotels including the St Lawrence Hotel, Royal Hotel, Sutton Castle, Howth Lodge and, in the more distant past, the Waverly Hotel. Currently, the Booking.com website lists only one B&B and one Guest House on Howth Head”.

Mr O’Neill stated that the design of the proposed scheme “retains the existing public house use which is known to be well over one hundred years old, and to have a related restaurant which avails of the picturesque location and views”.

Advancing the case for the hotel, Mr O’Neill said: “We believe the proposed hotel use is respectful of the scale and massing of the existing townscape and integrates well with the urban grain.”

He contended that “the proposed mix of long established public house use with the traditionally complementary accommodation function, could not be more appropriate to this sea-side location”.

However, local resident Monica Lambert told the Council that she strongly objected “to the unprecedented large roof garden/beer garden”.

She said: “While it is softly couched as a garden for residents it will without doubt be used as a beer and party garden reminiscent of Ibiza parties”.

Ms Lambert said: “This is a quiet residential area and the current proposal is unprecedented and wholly out of character with a quiet residential area.”

Today’s News in 90 seconds – 29th April 2024

In total, the Council received 19 third party submissions.

P&L Rickard of Dunbo Hill, Howth told the council that the proposal is “out of scale” “oversized” and “nondescript”.

Noel Loftus told the council that he resides next door to the proposed hotel and while there are many aspects of the proposed development that he welcomes he was limiting his “strong objection” to just one aspect – “the large outdoor terraced balcony”.

The St Lawrence Quay Management Ltd represents 18 apartment owners on Harbour Rd.

On their behalf, company secretary, Brona Carton told the Council that the proposed roof terrace for hotel residents’ use will result in an increase in noise in the area creating a nuisance for local residential and which may continue late into the night.

The objection added: “The high level roof terrace will overlook domestic properties in the area, including their gardens and terraces. This will result in the loss of privacy for those properties including the St Lawrence Quay development.”

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