An Bord Pleanála has upheld an appeal against the Tower Hotel in Waterford City to extend its property into a Georgian quarter.
The hotel had secured permission from Waterford Council to demolish terrace houses at 17-20 Lombard St, affecting a property at the adjoining The Mall, and two protected ornamental lamp posts.
Fáilte Ireland had supported the plan but it was opposed by businesswoman Monica Leech, on the grounds of being “inappropriate in the streetscape”.
Upholding the appeal, An Bord Pleanála said that “exceptional circumstances” to allow the go-ahead had not been proven.
The Lombard St properties date from the early 1700s and numbers 17 and 18 are registered on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, while No 18 is the birthplace of William Hobson, who was the first governor of New Zealand.
The property at No 36 The Mall is also a protected structure of architectural importance.
The site is a full block, with buildings fronting in four directions onto Adelphi Quay, The Mall, Lombard St, and Rose Lane.
It is near the Viking Triangle Architectural Conservation Area as well as in the General Architectural Conservation Area.
The hotel planned to construct a five-storey extension of 60 bedrooms, including a main conference centre and six smaller conference rooms, stores, toilets, staff facilities, and a service yard.
It also wanted to change the existing front elevation.
Overlooking the River Suir, the site is also located in an area zoned for commercial development by the council.