The Department of the Environment has objected to the €150 million plans by U2 and their manager Paul McGuinness for a “world class” hotel featuring an elliptical flying saucer-like structure, based around the Clarence Hotel and a number of adjacent listed buildings. The objection, which also criticises Dublin City Council for its interpretation of heritage preservation guidance, was lodged last Friday and follows a request from An Bord Pleanála for its views. It also follows criticism of the hotel plan from Failte Ireland which last month told the planning appeals board that it was important the city’s “historic fabric be protected” and that the development “may set an unwelcome precedent for development in the Georgian heart of the city. Dublin City Council approved permission for the 148-bedroom and 28-suite hotel last November, noting that it would involve retaining only the façades of a number of listed buildings along Wellington Quay, in the council’s own Liffey Quays Conservation Area.
The Irish Times