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Hotel plan blocked for hitting views of church

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TD Aengus O Snodaigh

TD Aengus O Snodaigh

TD Aengus O Snodaigh

Plans to build a new hotel in the heart of Dublin's Liberties have been blocked because of the adverse impact it would have on the views of a historic church.

An Bord Pleanala rejected an appeal by developer Vesada against Dublin City Council's decision to refuse it planning permission for a 47-bedroom hotel at Thomas Court because of its proximity to St Catherine's Church - a protected structure on Thomas Street.

The board said the proposed development would have a disproportionate effect on local buildings and the character of the area.

It described St Catherine's Church as "a historic city landmark of architectural and cultural interest".

The board said the overall scale, design and height of the hotel at seven stories was "excessive" and would be detrimental to the character of the Thomas Street and Environs Architectural Conservation Area and protected structures including St Catherine's and Arthur's Pub.

Vesada had argued that a hotel was a permissible use for the site given its current zoning.

It also said the development would bring a derelict, underutilised site of a former bakery back into use, which would have a positive impact on the vitality of the area.

Excessive

An inspector with An Bord Pleanala said the use of the site for a hotel development was acceptable in principle but found its scale and height were excessive.

The development had also been opposed by a local residents' group, several local councillors and Sinn Fein TD Aengus O Snodaigh.

The Dublin South Central TD said the area was of significant historical interest, particularly as it was "only feet away from where Robert Emmet was hung following a rebellion".

While Mr O Snodaigh said he welcomed the development of a site that had been derelict for too long, he questioned why it had to be "yet another hotel".

"When will much-needed family homes be built?" he asked.

An Taisce, which also opposed the development, described St Catherine's as "one of the best, if not the best, classical church facades in the city".