Approval granted for expansion of Connemara Hotel

Galway daily news Ballynahinch Castle Hotel expansion approved

Planning approval has been granted for an expansion of Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. 

The Connemara Hotel submitted plans to demolish a two story staff accommodation block built in the 90s’ and replace it with a new guest wing. 

The new guest wing will be a two storey luxury block to the west of the main building, connected by a new link corridor. 

The Department of Arts, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht noted in a submission that the hotel is located close to the Connemara Bog Special Area of Conservation and the Owenmore river. 

The Department asked Galway county council to ensure that the development would not pose and risk to protected habitats there before granting permission. 

Last October the council made a request for further information from the developer, saying that the original Natura Impact Statement included in the application wasn’t comprehensive enough in outlining mitigation measures to protect the SAC. 

The developer submitted an updated NIS that included more information on measures that will be taken to manage any waste or runoff during the construction and operation of this extension. 

A waste management plan was also submitted to the county council. 

Ballynahinch Castle Hotel was orginally a country house built overlooking the Owenmore built in the late 18th century. 

The manor house was greatly enlarged in the 1870, and the current top floor was added on to the building in the early 20th century. 

A protected structure, much of the main building retains features from its 19th c origins. 

It has passed through many and varied hands since being built, and began operating as a hotel in the late 1940s. 

The new guest wing will take the place of a staff accommodation building which was constructed in 1998 as part of a major expansion of the hotel. 

The new guest wing is designed to have minimal impact on the original protected structure. 

Galway county council granted planning permission with nine conditions attached.