Luxury castle hotel in Kerry refused planning for extension

Ballyseede Castle Hotel

A four-star luxury castle hotel in Kerry has been refused planning permission for an extension, because of the adverse impact it would have on the historic building.

An Bord Pleanála has ruled that the proposed changes to Ballyseede Castle Hotel, which is in 12 hectares of private gardens and woodland on the outskirts of Tralee, would detract from the architectural character and integrity of the building.

The castle, which dates from the 1760s and has 28 bedrooms, is a protected structure. 

The planning appeals authority said the proposed extension would also obscure views of the 19th-century wing, which was an integral part of the structure. 

The board said it has taken into account the scale of previous extensions, which were visually and physically separated from the main building, unlike the latest plans. 

The ruling was the result of an appeal by the hotel’s owners — the O’Sullivan family — against the original decision of Kerry Co Council to refuse planning permission for an extension containing a new bedroom, guest dining room, and stores.

Council planners had noted that a previous extension, in 2017, was constructed as planned and was “considerably injurious”, with a “significant detrimental impact” to windows and other features.

The O’Sullivans said that the castle has been “taken from the grips of dereliction, 12 years ago, to be renovated and extended to become a highly successful four-star hotel.”

However, council planners said the proposed extension would result “in the merging of the new and old” and that it is imperative that the separation be maintained.

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