Metropolitan mayor Daniel Butler at the proposed site
A NEW chic-boutique guest house is being planned for opposite Limerick’s Milk Market.
Ellen Street developments has sought planning permission from Limerick council to open an eight-bedroom, €100 per night guest house at the former Madden’s Milk site.
Planning permission is already in place for a massive €3m development at the site, for a four-storey residential, retail and educational development at the junction of Ellen Street, Carr Street and Punch’s Row.
But the developers have now sought a change of use from the five retail units at the base of the development and instead propose to open a guest house.
The proposals, which could see a total of 100 new jobs, will likely see the completion of a complex left unfinished since the economic crash.
In supporting documents provided to council planners, Donal O’Byrne, Ellen Street developments, said the guest house is being planned to initially service students attending courses at the language school which is to anchor the development.
“Outside of accommodation associated with the school, there is also a shortage of reasonably priced accommodation in this Old Quarter/Milk Market area of the city. The only similar accommodation is a boutique hotel in the Old Quarter, which is three-star. There is also a number of Airbnbs in the area, but won’t be available longer due to new government regulations,” Mr O’Byrne wrote.
He also argued that the guest house will have a lesser effect on neighbours than shop units.
Metropolitan mayor Daniel Butler has welcomed the move, saying: “We need to see development on that site for public safety and the reasons that it’s a blight on the landscape for people living locally, who have to look at it all the time. There are children playing there in unsafe conditions and it’s become a public hazard.”
He believes a new guest house would be economically feasible too.
Limerick City and County Council wrote back to the developer seeking information on whether a hotel or a hostel was intended for the site.
In a comprehensive reply, Mr O’Byrne made a number of points, including the fact that it will have no do-it-yourself laundry facilities like a hotel, common areas like games rooms, and residency lounges.
He pointed out that at €100 a night, it is also not the rate you’d expect from a hostel.
Limerick is the only city in Ireland which does not have a youth hostel.
Council planners are expected to make a decision on the project in the next week.