Outraged Portobello locals unite against hotel

by Emma Nolan

PLANS for a large six-storey hotel in Portobello have been condemned by locals who fear for the future of the area.


An application submitted by developers, MKN Property Group, to Dublin City Council outlines plans for a 5,775sq m, six-storey, 178-bedroom hotel located at 17 Portobello Harbour and Portobello College.


It would see the demolition of the two- to four-storey buildings that comprise Portobello College to facilitate the construction.


A petition set up by a campaign group called Save Portobello Harbour had gained more than 7,000 signatures by the time of going to print.


Organisers say: “Portobello Harbour has a rich history as a friendly area where people from all across Dublin use it regularly to enjoy as a public plaza for a variety of activities.


“Plans to demolish the existing Portobello College to replace it with a hotel threaten the neighbourhood’s already very limited public space.”


Those opposed to the plans say that the scale of the proposed building is “over-bearing” and fear that the public plaza will be taken over by the hotel’s outdoor furniture, “lessening the already limited area to the public”.


“The development of a 178-bed hotel on the site will undoubtedly restrict locals and those who are not using the hotel’s services from using this public space for markets, skateboarding, biking, ball games and all the other activities that occur here on a regular basis, as well as those using the canal to relax on summer evenings after a day’s work.”


Many of the petition’s signatories and local residents say they fear that the hotel will have a negative effect on the area.


One said: “I lived in the area for over 20 years. What’s planned will ruin the place!”


Another said the plans will “result in the loss of one of the rapidly diminishing public play places in the area”, while another added: “It’s a well utilised public space and should remain that way. We have enough hotels. Losing more of our heritage would be a disaster to this neighbourhood and surrounding areas. Leave it ALONE!”


The final date for observations to Dublin City Council about the proposal was December 19, with a decision on the development expected next year.”

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