The backers behind €10 million plans to transform Howth Castle into a retail, food and tourist destination have made a bid to have a decision axing the most contentious part of the project reversed.
Last month Fingal Co Council granted planning permission for the scheme but attached a condition that a new road to serve the development be excluded.
The planned road resulted in the local Church of Ireland and other locals objecting to the scheme.
Now, applicants, Tetrarch Capital, through WSHI UC and the Michael J Wright hospitality group have lodged an appeal to An Bord Pleanala seeking to have the new road included and are also appealing against four other conditions attached to the permission.
In the appeal, consultants for the applicants, O’Neill Town Planning state that the imposition of those conditions has un-necessarily compromised the applicants’ plan “to provide a sensitively considered project with adequate services to allow for a sustainable development within the castle and its immediate precincts”.
The consultants state from a transport, planning and conservation viewpoint the inclusion of the road is critical.
O’Neill Town Planning state that the two stand-out arguments for the road's inclusion are the protection and development of the Howth Castle precinct as a distinct entity within the overall estate and the need to protect all road users from the intensification of traffic that exists at present due to the hotel and public golf course on the lands.
O’Neill Town Planning also points to the added pressure that will be generated by the development of a five-star hotel and championship golf course within the demesne beyond the historic castle.
The appeal states that the operators of the planned wedding venue, the Michael J Wright Group state if the new road isn't allowed, wedding parties will be endangered crossing the existing road for photographs.
The Wright Group state that “traffic to the hotel and golf will also result in an unsustainable intensification of traffic on the through road which will destroy the setting, ambience and use of the castle as a separate destination for weddings and hospital uses".
The group states that “we want families to feel safe and to enjoy the cartilage of the castle which would not happen if the apron to the front of the castle was a busy road".
The applicants are also seeking that planning contributions be reduced from €164,784 to €102,962.