Achieving successful planning for city centre hotels:

Victorian Hotel Design Architect

With Directors Peter Newman-Earp and Nik Clarke

With such strict restrictions, planning permission can be tricky to achieve for city centre hotels. We talk to Directors Peter Newman-Earp and Nik Clarke about their tricks and tips for success…

Morrison Design have a long history working on city centre hotels?

Peter: “Yes absolutely, the company have worked on major hotels such as the Holiday Inn since the 1970’s so we’re vastly experienced.”

What are clients in these locations asking for?

Nik: “They ultimately want to improve the guest experience – city centres are obviously hugely competitive areas for hotels, and they want (and need) to stand out from the crowd. Memorable entrances, lobbies, unique food and beverage offerings and guest rooms which are away from traffic and with better views are just a few things which spring to mind.”

Peter: “They also want to increase capacity, in turn increasing the value of the hotel and, more immediately, their revenue.”

Directors Peter Newman-Earp (left) and Nik Clarke (right)

What are the challenges with hotels in tight locations and how do you overcome them?

Nik: “There are strict planning restrictions which we need to work within which is always quite challenging. We always ensure we communicate and work together with resident’s associations as early as possible in the process. Understanding and addressing their concerns is key. We keep them updated with the construction process and they can ask any questions along the way. Having open communication with the local community is essential in ensuring that the planning and construction process goes smoothly in these city centre locations.”

Peter: “The sites we operate on are often extremely tight with little external space – designs are well thought through to ensure that any construction is feasible and fits within any local planning restrictions. After the space planning exercise, sometimes the only way to add additional space is to go upwards by adding additional floors, or downwards into basement levels. For Point A, Parnell Street, Dublin, for example, we worked closely with the planners for the basement level and, after appealing the decision with supporting reports, we were successful.”

Point A Hotel exterior photograph
Point A Hotel, Parnell Street, Dublin

So, what’s the process?

Nik: “Depending on the complexity of the project and the input required we can lead the planning process on behalf of the client, or we can work with a planning consultant to aid the process. The client can rest assured that it’s taken care of – once the designs are agreed, nothing is left with them to answer. Any revisions or appeals are dealt with in consultation with the client, but our team take care of it all.”

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