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Wednesday 20 June 2018

No joke, six-storey hotel 'too big' for Portobello - McSavage

Comedian David McSavage
Comedian David McSavage

Plans for a new €40m hotel at Portobello in Dublin are no laughing matter for comedian David McSavage and scores of other local residents opposing the development.

This follows McSavage - best known for his RTE show, The Savage Eye - lodging an objection with Dublin City Council against the 178-bedroom, six-storey, over-basement hotel planned by the MKN Property Group and Tifco at Portobello Harbour. Just under 60 objections, mainly from locals, have been lodged.

The plan "will contribute significantly to the further development and regeneration of Portobello Harbour", said planning consultant for the applicant, John Spain.

Mr Spain also states that the hotel will provide "the catalyst for future development and provides facilities and services in the area", while the scale and massing of the proposal have been carefully considered.

In 2016, MKN spent €10m on purchasing Portobello House and adjoining lands at the location.

However, the council has now put the plan on hold after expressing concerns over the height and scale of the hotel.

Congestion

In his objection, McSavage states that the planned hotel "is far too big in comparison to other buildings in the area".

He has claimed that it would alter the neighbourhood feeling of Portobello, lead to more parking issues and even more traffic congestion in an already congested area.

Fianna Fail justice spokesman and local TD Jim O'Callaghan is also opposing the plan, along with An Taisce.

The hotel "is out of proportion to the intimate scale and character of the surrounding area", Kevin Duff, of the Dublin City Association of An Taisce, told the appeals board.

"Such a large-scale commercial development in a residential area is inappropriate," Mr O'Callaghan said.

"The height and size of the proposed hotel is inappropriate in light of the fact that the surrounding area is terraced residential.

"The area should be developed for apartments, as the country in the midst of a housing crisis," he added.

However, tourism bosses backed the plan. Failte Ireland said that the hotel would be a valuable addition to the accommodation stock in Dublin.

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