Appeal over plans to extend Dingle Skellig Hotel

Plans for a major redevelopment and extension of the four-star Dingle Skellig Hotel are being appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

Objections centre around what effect a four-storey high extension will have on sea views along the main approach to the West Kerry town. Nowhere on the peninsula does a building reach four storeys, according to two appellants.

The plans got the go-ahead from Kerry County Council in recent weeks.

The 120-bed seafront hotel is a popular wedding venue and one of only a handful of hotels in Dingle.

The Skellig began life in 1965 with the arrival of the crew of Ryan’s Daughter, a film which put Dingle on the tourist trail.

Recent Fáilte Ireland statistics show the town itself has only three registered hotels, along with 25 B&Bs and seven guesthouses, alongside a number of unregistered premises, self-catering, and Airbnbs.

The plans for the extension to the Dingle Skellig are part three-storey and part four-storey, up to 1,510sq m for 32 bedrooms. The sea-front restaurant is also to be extended by 132sq m. There is also an extension planned for the reception area and new car park will be created in a field across the narrow road linking to the N86.

The development “will allow for greater number of tourists to visit and access the Dingle and Kerry region”, state the company’s agents, PLM Architects, and the design and finish will make it unobtrusive.

However, Ricky and Dawn Keane, of nearby Emlagh House, a well-known guesthouse, say they have concerns about the height.

“Nowhere in west Kerry and the Dingle Town area has there ever been a four-storey development.”

The Keanes also maintain the extension will “dominate the shoreline” and take away from the beauty of the seascape and land on the approach to Dingle.

The view from their guesthouse will be “totally obliterated”, say the Keanes.

The other appellants, Jonathan and Michael T Moriarty from Strand St, Dingle, also raise concerns about the height of a site “located outside Dingle town centre on the approach to the town”.

“There are no other four-storey buildings in the peninsula and this proposal will raise a dangerous precedent if permitted,” the Moriartys submitted through their agents, Cunnane Stratton Reynolds.

The design of “a huge four-storey block” is wholly out of context with the existing buildings and the views of other properties will be obstructed, they state.

“Once the landscape is diminished, it will be lost forever,” they say.

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