Dublin City Council has refused planning permission to businessman, Harry Crosbie for a luxury boutique hotel for Hanover Quay in the city over a row concerning the public gaining free access to the waterfront at his planned hotel.
Mr Crosbie was planning to convert his own home at 9 Hanover Quay on Grand Canal Dock into a four-star 19 bedroom hotel with guest bars and dining areas along the floor-length windows on the waterfront.
The hotel - which faced local opposition - was to complement the planned U2 visitor centre for the adjacent site and that project received planning permission last week.
However, the city council has turned down planning permission after Mr Crosbie refused to countenance the public having free access to the waterfront at the planned hotel.
In a further information request last year, the Council requested Mr Crosbie to investigate the possibility of maximising public access to the quayside at his planned hotel.
In response, however, Mr Crosbie said in a letter that if the Council “insists on an open quayside, then I would prefer to abandon the project and stay as we are now”.
Mr Crosbie - who has helped transform Dublin's docklands over the years with the construction of the Point music venue, now the 3Arena and the Bord Gáis Theatre - said: “To allow free access would bring chaos and would be unsafe and attract anti-social behaviour in this very narrow strip. This behaviour can be unpleasant and nasty.”
“We have no problem with people using the quayside provided they enter through the main doors and we can control the numbers and the behaviour.”
Now, the city council has refused planning on two grounds and its chief reason was that the proposed lack of access within the proposal “is considered a lost opportunity for pedestrian engagement with the waterfront along Grand Canal”.
As a result, the Council has ruled that the development would be contrary to North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme which has an objective to maximise public pedestrian access to all water body frontages.
In their ruling. the Council said: “The proposed development would also create a precedent for similar type suboptimal development.”
The Council said that “the proposal is not compatible with the future long-term conservation of this historic building and would create an undesirable precedent for similar type development”.
The Council refused planning after its planner in the case stated that while a sensitive and appropriate redevelopment may be welcomed in the future, the applicant has failed in this instance to address the issues and concerns expressed by the council.