Thursday 20 October 2016

Locals object to QPR owner's plans for iconic Joyce hotel on city quays

Tony Fernandes. Photo: AP
Tony Fernandes. Photo: AP

A firm understood to be linked to the owner of Queens Park Rangers football club is facing objections from locals over plans to redevelop the iconic Ormond Hotel.

The Liffeyside hotel is best known as the setting for the Sirens episode in James Joyce's Ulysses.

Previous plans by Monteco Holdings Ltd, a firm understood to be owned by businessman Tony Fernandes, who also owns the London football club, were turned down by An Bord Pleanala in 2014.

However, the scaled back version of the plans is attracting fresh criticism from locals.

Residents and local businesses have lodged objections to the plans to demolish the existing hotel and rebuild a five-storey building with 121 rooms and a restaurant.

People living on Little Strand Street, which backs onto the site have expressed concern about overshadowing, with one outlining fears that their homes would be "dwarfed" by the hotel. Another concern cited by residents is that there will be a spike in anti-social behaviour, which is already a problem in the area.

Ongoing issues include "graffiti, pubic urination, drug use and sexual activity on the street", according to one letter of objection.

A law firm in the area is worried that the construction of the hotel and the operation of it when it is complete will disrupt their ability to work in their office and will reduce the sunlight they have become accustomed to .

Parking and the design of the building were also referenced in the handful of objections lodged against the plans.


People living and working in the area also noted their fears that once the hotel was in operation the area would not be able to cope with the number of delivery vehicles servicing the hotel.

"I know our city centre urgently needs more hotel beds, and I am saddened to see this former hotel rotting away, but until the developer addresses the concerns of the residents to the rear of the site I cannot support this application," one local resident wrote.

A decision has yet to be made on the plans by Dublin City Council.

During their previous planning battle Monteco Holdings said their ambitious plans were being held back because of "literary fiction" and romanticism.

Conservationists objected to the scale of the proposals at such an historic and prominent city centre location.

The James Joyce Centre also objected to the plans due to its links with the historic novel. The hotel, which closed in 2005, was also the setting for a film based on Ulysses.

The hotel, which has been closed for around a decade, was bought for a reported €15m by developer Bernard McNamara during the boom, but it is believed Fernandes snapped up the property for around €2m.

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