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An Bord Pleanála upholds approval for Jurys Inn hotel expansion

An Bord Pleanála has upheld a decision to grant planning permission for a major expansion of Jurys Inn hotel in Galway City.

The hotel on Quay Street received approval from the city council in December for the construction of an extension to add 89 new guest bedrooms.

The project will involve building a new wing facing onto the River Corrib, as well as the addition of two new floors to the entire building.

It’s estimated that this development will result in the creation of 55 new permanent jobs at the hotel, almost doubling its workforce.

Three third party appeals against the grant of permission were lodged by An Taisce; a local business in Blake’s Castle, also occupied by Jurys Inn, and the owners of the Spanish Arch car park next to the hotel.

An Taisce expressed environmental concerns about the potential impact of the development on River Corrib and Galway Bay SACs, as well as the visual impact it would have on the ity centre, and about several protected structures in the area.

The owners of Costa Coffee, which occupies space in two of the same buildings as Jurys at Blake’s Castle and next door, said that their property is included in the application site, and that they did not consent to a planning application being made.

The final appeal was made by John Mooney & Company Ltd on behalf of
McDonogh Fertilizers Ltd as the owners and operators of the Spanish Arch Car Park next door to the hotel.

This appeal notes that their is an agreement with the hotel to provide 24 parking spaces for its use up to 2028, but that there is no agreement to provide any additional spaces.

They asked for a review of the proposal’s parking requirements on the grounds that “parking spaces in the appellants’ car park will not be available beyond the limitations of the existing agreement”.

In upholding the decision to grant planning permission, the Board said that it was satisfied that the proposed hotel expansion would not “seriously injure the visual or residential amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity, and would be acceptable in terms of
traffic safety and convenience.”

The Board also said that it was satisfied with the information contained within the Natura Impact Statement submitted with the proposal, including its assessment of likely environmental impacts and mitigation measures to be taken.

Fattal Jurys Operation made a first party appeal of its own against one of the conditions of planning permission attached by the city council.

Condition 3 required the developer to pay €127,500 towards the provision of public transportation facilities in accordance with the Galway Transportation Strategy.

This figure was arrived at based on 51 car parking spaces the hotel extension requires under City Development Plan policy.

But the hotel operation claimed that that there is already sufficient parking in the adjoining car park, and that they have an agreement in place with Hynes Car Park on Merchants Road.

However the higher planning authority kept this condition when it upheld the grant of planning permission.

In their original application for planning permission Fattal said that the lack of hotel rooms in Galway “is becoming an increasingly serious issue for tour operators who are finding it more difficult year on year to source rooms in Galway city, particularly at peak periods.”

An Bord Pleanála ultimately upheld the original grant of planning permission for the project with 11 revised conditions.

When construction work commences on the project it is expect to cause Jurys Inn

Briain Kelly
Email: news@galwaydaily.com
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