Planning observation: Developers have applied for planning permission for a new hotel in Kearn’s Place, just off Old Kilmainham.

The site should be developed for housing, which is permitted in the zoning. This proposal seems like a mad idea.

Update: The planning permission was rejected by Dublin City Council, which the developers appealed. An Bord Pleanála upheld the refusal in late November 2020. You can read their decision here.

Here’s the planning observation I submitted against the development:

I am writing in opposition to the proposed hotel development on Kearn’s Place/Old Kilmainham (4623/19).

  1. The size and scale of the proposed hotel is completely out of proportion to the residential side street it would dominate. The light impacts would clearly be substantial for the most-affected residents on Kearn’s Place.
  2. Development on this underused site is welcome, but longer-term housing would be a substantially better use for the land, given the number of hotel developments in Dublin 8 over the past year, along with the wider housing crisis. It’s yet another hotel in this section of the city.
  3. The site in question is currently zoned Z6, however there is a proposal to vary the development plan zoning for this very site currently out for public consultation, which has received the support of the elected members of the Council. This would be to vary the zoning for more appropriate residential use, which would be welcome on the site.
  4. The very basic traffic study envisions no substantial impact on traffic in the area, however, it expects deliveries to take place on street, on Kearn’s Place – a narrow, residential street. Hotels receive a high volume of deliveries (and often attendant taxis waiting for guests). This would seriously detract from the quality of life for those on Kearn’s Place and in Kearn’s Court – creating regular blockages, noise and disruption.
  5. There is already substantial parking pressure on Kearn’s Place and the nearby area, even with informal parking in a disused section of the current site. This development would only add to that pressure.
  6. The construction management plan makes no comment on parking or access for construction workers – frequently an issue on relatively large, inner-city sites such as this.
  7. The presence of a large open balcony (“guests’ roof garden”) suggests a social use, which would likely create extra noise and disturbance at night.
  8. Aside from natural light being blocked for residents on Kearn’s Court – a hotel tends to be well lit and open throughout the night. The transparent glass front of the hotel would thus illuminate the whole street artifically thoughout the night, likely overlighting the houses on Kearn’s Place and the relevant section of Old Kilmainham continuously throughout the night. This would not be the case with, for example, an apartment building of the same scale.
  9. A hotel sees people coming at all hours of the day and night. Motor traffic aside, this quiet side road (which is effectively a cul-de-sac) would see a great volume of disturbance caused foot traffic, late-night returns, wheeling bags etc.

I understand that there is near universal opposition to this development, along with a desire for the site to be used for real housing to ease the housing crisis. I believe the application should be rejected.

Many thanks,

Michael Pidgeon