Permission refused for penthouse suite on top of new Ship Street hotel in Dublin

Eamon Waters’s Sretaw wanted to add a penthouse to its forthcoming Chancery Hotel in Dublin

Dublin City Council has refused planning permission to Eamon Waters’s expanding Sretaw hotel group for a penthouse suite on top of its Chancery Hotel due to the impact on nearby Dublin Castle.

The 147-bedroom Chancery Hotel is due to open for business this autumn, but the council has said the planned penthouse suite for the top of the eight-storey hotel for Ship Street Great in Dublin 8 is “unacceptable”.

The council refused the permission to Mr Waters’s Wave Point Ltd after concluding that the 1,937sq ft penthouse would significantly detract from the setting of Dublin Castle and its attendant grounds due to the height, scale and design of the proposed suite.

‘There’s no farming without profit, it’ll be gone in the morning if there isn’t money’

Listen | 38:53

The proposed penthouse would result in a visually incongruous form of development which fails to integrate or be compatible with its sensitive surroundings, the council said.


The eight-page planning report recommending refusal pointed out that the parent permission for the hotel “has undergone numerous alterations and additions with incremental increases in height, and it is considered that the introduction of this new penthouse level will detract from the building and its overall design”.

The report noted that “while the additional floor may not be visible directly to the street, due to the setback, it will be visible from further viewpoints”.

In a submission to the council for the applicant, Coman de Burca of Horan Rainsford Architects said the proposed extension “does not have a detrimental effect on the character of the surrounding area and the alterations would be imperceptible from the immediate streetscape”.

Mr de Burca argued that the extension as proposed was “modest in nature and is consistent with the Dublin City Council Development Plan policies for inner-city development”. The additional floor had been carefully planned to minimise any potential visual impact on neighbouring properties, he said.

However, Dublin city planning officer with An Taisce Kevin Duff told the council “the proposed additional floor structure, which would look directly into Dublin Castle grounds, one of the pre-eminent historic sites of Dublin city centre, would not be appropriate in this location”.

Recommending that the proposal be refused, Mr Duff said the hotel was already eight storeys high and the addition of a ninth storey “would further throw this historic streetscape off balance and would increase shadowing on, and decrease light reach to, adjacent property”.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times