By Gordon Deegan
Plans by Galway hoteliers, Kevin, Frank and Mary Flannery to build an eight-storey extension to the Ashling hotel in Dublin is being opposed by An Taisce.
The proposal which includes 27 self-contained rooms by Flannerys’ Foxfield Inns Ltd involves the demolition of four vacant and semi-derelict buildings.
The new apartment-hotel is to have a new separate entrance. An Taisce recommended refusal on the basis that the demolition of the vacant buildings is not justified.
“It is senseless to demolish existing, reusable historic building stock with so much dereliction and vacant, undeveloped sites along the Luas line,” said Kevin Duff of the Dublin City Association of An Taisce.
However, in new documents lodged with Dublin City Council, consultants for Foxfield said that demolition is justified. The extension is designed to cater for the demand for apartments by visitors in the city centre. In the revised plans, Foxfield — which operates hotels, bars, and restaurants — has offered to reduce the plan to eight from 10 storeys and to cut the number of suites to 27 from 31. The consultants said it is not feasible to use the vacant buildings in the plan.
“The hotel is currently running at peak capacity and needs to expand. It cannot accommodate the numbers seeking accommodation,” according to the consultants. The most recent accounts for Foxfield Inns Ltd show that it has deep pockets: At the end of 2016, the company had accumulated profits of €44.4m.