Permission for Glenlo Abbey Hotel renovation overturned on appeal

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Galway Daily news Plans submitted for Ballinasloe housing development

An Bord Pleanála has overturned a decision to allow Glenlo Abbey Hotel to demolish and replace a single storey structure connecting the main hotel to the historic abbey.

The planning application consisted of additions and changes to a broader series of renovations being done to the hotel granted permission by the city council last July.

The decision by the city council to grant planning permission was subject to an appeal by Prior Park Ireland Assets lodged in August.

The appeal was concerned with the impact the work could have on the abbey, which is a protected structure, noting that the proposed link building in the plans is considerably larger than the one it would replace.

It was also argued that the architectural conservation reports included in the application were too vague, and don’t contain enough information on how the work would have been made compatible with the existing abbey.

Answering on behalf of Glenlo Abbey Hotel McCarthy, Keville, O’Sullivan consultants said that the architectural report showed that the development would have only had a minimal impact on the structure with “a design that use existing cuts to mitigate impact on history fabric.”

Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Golf Course at Bushypark consists of the original two storey five bay demesne dwelling, along with the
18th century church adjacent to the house.

The hotel has undergone extensive renovations in recent years with additions including a new spa, sunken garden, extensions to the hotel and golf club buildings and carparks.

In deciding to uphold the appeal and overturn permission for the development An Bord Pleanála said that the proposed structure “fails to respect the historic relationship between the chapel and the demesne dwelling as two separated distinct structures.”

The inspector said the proposed replacement link building was too large, reaching as high as the eaves of the chapel.

This “would seriously injure the integrity and character of the protected structures and would be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”

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