The operator of Ashford Castle has secured planning permission for a ’boutique’ five-star 60 bedroom hotel in Dublin.

Red Carnation Hotels has secured planning permission for the conversion and extension of a former Jesuit university students’ residence, Hatch Hall, located between Earlsfort Terrace and Leeson Street.

Dublin City Council has given the project the go-ahead after its planner found that the proposal “will upgrade one of the most prominent locations in the city”.

The city council planner also concluded that the proposal will “contribute to the animation of the area, will allow for the refurbishment and re-engagement of a historic building with the addition of a striking contemporary tower in an inner city location”.

The planner also said that the proposed scheme “exhibits a respectful yet distinctive design narrative which will make a positive contribution to the subject site and Dublin’s urban fabric”.

The hotel is to include two bars and a restaurant in the former chapel building.

Director at CBRE, John Hughes told the council that while Dublin has a strong ‘pipeline’ of hotels, only 3% is classified as being in the 5-star category.

Mr Hughes stated that currently there is limited supply of five star hotels in Dublin making up just 12 of the 214 hotels in the capital equating to 1,793 bedrooms or a share of 8%.

A submission lodged by Savills on behalf of Red Carnation with the application last year stated that since 2017, there have been only 50 five star bedrooms added in the capital.

Savills stated that “Dublin has many fine five star properties, but there is a market for additional capacity at the higher end where we do not have the offering of most  comparable European cities”.

Hatch Hall is a protected structure and planning consultant for Red Carnation, John Spain said that the use as a five star hotel “would ensure that the building is restored and conserved, protecting it into the future with a viable use”.

In the past Hatch Hall has been used as a direct provision centre for asylum seekers and is currently vacant.

The Red Carnation proposal also includes an eight storey extension and Mr Spain told the council that “a boutique five star hotel would add to the city’s attractiveness for high spending visitors”.

Red Carnation declined to comment on Friday on a time-line for the development of the hotel “as the planning process is still in train” where third parties could appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala.