Plans by investors — including AirAsia boss and Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes — to demolish and redevelop the Ormond Hotel in Dublin are being opposed by the Save Joycean Dublin Committee and local residents.
The hotel, which features in James Joyce’s Ulysses, was bought by developer Bernard McNamara in 2006 for €17m, a year after it closed.
Mr McNamara put it on the market in 2009 with a price tag of €7m, but it was subsequently bought by Mr Fernandes’ Monteco Holdings for less than €2.5m.
Earlier this year, Monteco lodged revised plans for a 121-bedroom hotel at the site with the firm’s consultants stating that the plan can make a significant contribution to the rejuvenation of the site, the surrounding area and the wider city through the introduction of a high quality use that will meet the needs for additional hotel accommodation in Dublin.
The consultants also said that the proposal will deliver a significant improvement to the visual appearance of the area.
However, the plan has attracted opposition from local residents and councillor Mannix Flynn.
In his objection, Mr Flynn claimed that the proposed hotel development “presents a monolithic, sprawling expanse to Ormond Quay…and is, in effect, architectural wallpaper, designed to be as inoffensive as possible, and, as a result, fails to contribute in an intelligent and creative manner demanded of this critical site in the heart of the city.”
James Moore of the Save Joycean Dublin Committee claims the proposed facade is unoriginal, corporate, bland, generic, and characterless, and would be a travesty if it replaced the current facade, with its original and elegant fenestration and which has a genuine place in the city’s literary and historical heart and fabric.
A number of residents on Little Strand St have told the City Council that the plan will have a huge impact on residents and are disappointed that no attempt was made by the applicant to meet with them before the plans were lodged.
The residents claim that the proposed development is inconsistent with the philosophy of creating a vibrant, safe, comfortable and attractive urban space. Council planners have requested Monteco to submit revised plans for the proposal.
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