Should we allow 20 storey hotels in Dublin?

Failte Ireland's chairman wants the city to take action to service demand for additional hotel rooms...

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The former Ryanair executive, now chairman of Failte Ireland, Michael Cawley wants planning laws to be changed to allow for high-rise hotel developments.

In an interview with the Irish Independent, he said that planning rules should be amended to allow 20 storey hotels to be built in the Dublin region.

Describing as "farcical" current city centre restrictions that prohibit commercial buildings higher than seven storeys in most cases, he said hoteliers should be allowed to maximise the investment cost of developing expensive sites in certain parts of Dublin.

"Sites are expensive. If you look at top hotels abroad, they're 15 or 20 storeys," he said. 

"If you added three or four 15 or 20-storey blocks in the IFSC, it wouldn't be that significant ... You could do it a little bit out of town too, maybe in areas such as Ballsbridge," Mr Cawley continued.

This would also address a shortage of available rooms in the city he noted

In support of his argument, he referenced a report commissioned by Failte Ireland projecting that about 5,000 additional hotel rooms are due to come on stream in Dublin over the next four years, about half the amount required by the growing tourism sector.