An Bord Pleanála has given the green light to contentious plans for a 247-bedroom nine-storey CitizenM hotel at Bride Street, Dublin 8.
The appeals board has granted planning permission to Dublin St Patrick's Properties BV despite 10 separate appeals lodged by third parties against the Dublin City Council decision to grant permission for the four star ‘luxury hybrid’ hotel.
The scheme involves the demolition of the existing five-storey Molyneux House.
Some of those to appeal to An Bord Pleanála include Cllr Mannix Flynn, Amanda Scales and John Kelleher along with two separate entities representing the residents of Adelaide Court apartments.
Some of the appellants’ concerns related to the impact of scale, massing and density of the hotel development.
However, the appeals board granted planning permission after concluding that the scheme would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of properties in the vicinity.
The hotel will be CitizenM’s first foray into the Irish market and the Dutch-owned hotel chain already operates hotels in the likes of London, New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
An economic impact assessment lodged with the scheme by EY states that with the pipeline of Dublin hotel room supply forecasted to decline by 56 per cent this year due to Covid-19, “CitizenM will therefore be a timely development”.
The EY report states that the hotel development will contribute €21 million to the Dublin economy per annum when operational.
The assessment by EY states that the scheme will provide 176 jobs when operational and support 367 jobs during the construction phase.
EY state that the CitizenM hotel model attracts a demographic with a higher than average purchasing power and disposable income such as business travellers.
A number of appellants raised concerns in terms of the concentration of hotels within one km of the site.
However, the assessment by EY states that none of the hotel’s 20 largest existing hotels are located in Dublin 8 and are concentrated in the Dublin 1, 2 and 4 postcodes.
The assessment states that the CitizenM’s proposed location in Dublin 8 puts it in an area of low hotel supply and low projected pipeline.
The report states: “This ensures a sustainable business model and gives further comfort that the development will be realised.”
The board inspector in the case recommended that planning permission be granted noting that “the level of bed-spaces in Dublin City has been an issue for many years and that demand is consistently higher than beds available.”
Plans were first lodged for the scheme in June 2020 and the council granted permission in January 2021 with the appeals process taking 11 months to complete.
As part of the scheme, the hotel firm is to commemorate Dublin architect, Sam Stephenson as part of the scheme.
The proposal involves the insertion of a linked gallery, the Stephenson Room as the building housed the offices of the late architect.
In proposing the Stephenson Room, planning documents lodged by the applicant describe Mr Stephenson as an “infamous Dublin architect…a showman, a magician with space, but a talented architect”.
Some of Mr Stephenson’s designs include the former Central Bank building on Dublin’s Dame Street and the Dublin City Council offices on Wood Quay.