A landmark Irish hotel is set for a two-storey extension after permission to build was granted by the State planning agency.
The Red Cow Moran Hotel, situated at the junction of the N7 Naas Road and the M50 motorway on the outskirts of west Dublin is one of the country’s best-known hospitality venues - construction on the additional levels is set to begin early next year.
Its application was originally approved by South Dublin Council in December of 2018 only to be appealed to An Bord Pleanála by a local business.
The Red Cow, which takes its name from the Red Cow Inn which still stands on site, has become synonymous with the eponymous M7 motorway junction which grew alongside it after 1990.
While the hotel has developed a nine-storey extension in recent years adjacent to its main building, that original construction had remained untouched until now.
Tracey Moran, the Red Cow’s communications director, said the organisation is “absolutely thrilled” at the positive planning news.
“It means another phase will be completed in our transformation of the hotel,” she said, adding that construction is projected to begin in 2020 with a planned 12-month completion timeframe.
The new construction will see the four-storey building transformed into a six-floor proposition, with 128 additional bedrooms bringing the overall total at the complex to roughly 415. The new build will incorporate the hotel’s conference and banqueting areas, and an existing cocktail bar.
Adjoining business, Ryan Wall Covering Limited, had objected to the build on several grounds, including issues surrounding traffic access and a claim that the “enormous” expansion of the hotel site in recent years has been having “serious negative impacts” on Ryan Wall’s properties.
The objection cited an incident in October 2018, whereupon thieves drove a jeep from the hotel’s car park through the open entrance barrier into the adjoining business park before ramming the shutter door of Ryan Wall’s co-appellant business Ballincolly Property Limited, as evidence of the perceived unwieldy nature of the site’s expansion.
In denying that appeal, planning inspector, Susan McHugh, said that in her opinion “no appropriate assessment issues” had arisen in the context of the expansion. She granted permission for the development with a number of conditions, one of which is the erection of an electronic gate to control access to the Red Cow business park from the hotel premises.
The hotel, which was first built by owner Tom Moran in 1996, recorded an operating profit of more than €500,000 in 2017, per its most recent accounts, off overall revenue of €12.4 million.
Moran held onto his trademark hotel when selling off his nine Moran Bewley’s hotels to industry developer Dalata in 2014 for €455 million. Five members of the Moran family currently sit as directors on the board of Guestford Limited, the hotel’s overarching company.