While plans are afoot to maximise the potential of Howth Castle, Tetrarch have negotiated a 25 year lease with The Wright Group to develop the Castle area of the estate into a catering and tourist destination. Accordingly, the two companies jointly applied to Fingal Co Council on December 21, 2022 for permission to develop the protected structure and as listed on Just Local ( Planning Application – Just Local ). The proposals include;
Change of use of upper ground floor of main castle building to tea rooms and reception area; conversion of rooms at lower ground floor to rest rooms, kitchens and storage areas;
The Castle Stable Area: Change of use of ground floor of stables to artisan retail and café use and the construction of new rest rooms; erection of central covered pavilion for restaurant, with new kitchen area and renovation of original entrance;
The Castle Grounds (Part): the creation of an assortment of recreational areas on the estate including a plant nursery, playground, picnic areas; erect temporary marquee and ancillary facilities for wedding events; pedestrianisation of areas around the Castle.
Key to these plans is access and because the current entrance to Deer Park is a protected structure, with limited available throughput, the application also sought to extend the road boundary of the cul-de-sac at St Mary Church and continue it into the estate, so that it provided the necessary capacity and traffic to support the grand plan.
Needless to say, this would necessitate a significant change in the character and operation of the area. It would also undermine the tranquillity and serenity of St Marys Church and thankfully, Fingal County Council saw the light and agreed. So it is back to the drawing board for Tetrarch and The Wright Group.
History is rarely amenable to commerce and so converting an 800 year old estate into a fair ground is certainly a stretch – square pegs and round holes come to mind.
Will Keep You Posted @ Just Local