An Bord Pleanála has granted final planning permission to UK real estate investment and development firm Westhill through Irish subsidiary Bluescape Limited to construct a six-storey hostel on the site of the former tourist office at 40-42 Grand Parade in Cork city.
As reported by The Irish Examiner, the planned hostel will be called Tourist House and will include 246 bed spaces in 48 rooms as well as a ground floor bar and a rooftop terrace.
Cork City Council previously approved planning permission for the hostel in January of this year on the condition that the proposed sixth storey be omitted from the plans for the venue, but the decision was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanála by a number of objectors including Casey's Furniture store, which, despite welcoming the proposed redevelopment of the site, said that it had concerns about the proposed ground-floor bar as there are nine bars within 200 metres of the site and the hostel bar would result in a "serious over-predominance of bars within an area close to the primary retail area of the city".
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Another local landowner stated that the proposed height of the planned hostel would "obliterate" light for neighbouring properties.
Additionally, Bluescape Limited appealed Cork City Council's condition that the planned hostel's proposed sixth storey be omitted from the plans for the venue, stating that the proposed six-storey height of the planned hostel would make it the same height as an adjacent multi-storey car park and the nearby Capitol development.
An Bord Pleanála's Decision
An inspector for An Bord Pleanála agreed that the proposed sixth storey of the planned hostel could be retained, and An Bord Pleanála green lit the development of the proposed hostel, stating that it is in accordance with the zoning and will "not seriously injure the visual amenities of the area."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.