Tuesday, July 9, 2013
THE LA TOUCHE HOTEL In Greystones [Closed in 2004, this hotel suffered from fire damage in 2006] 22 February 2012: "THE LA TOUCHE HOTEL site in Greystones has had its asking price slashed to €4 million, less than a third of the €15 million price tag of 2009". This site has been plagued by a series of fires and break-ins since its closure in 2004, and an application was made in 2008 to put the former hotel on the derelict sites notice. However the area has since been secured. In 2005 planning permission was previously granted on the site for 85 apartments as well as a refurbishment of the hotel with 818 square metres of retail and office use. The property was ultimately transferred to NAMA, after AIB appointed a receiver in 2008. Early in 2012 NAMA approved funding for remedial works to satisfy the local council. Earlier this year Simon Harris TD issued the following statement: "The La Touche Hotel is a landmark building. It is one of the first buildings you see in the distance as you enter Greystones coming down Windgates Hill. It represents so many memories for all residents in the town. It is a beautiful building and has a rich history. It has a link with so many elements of our community. Even from a political point of view, it is the hotel in which Michael Collins stayed the night before he went to Britain to negotiate for our country." "I am a realist and I know the state of disrepair the building is now in. However, I see no reason why the external structures of the building cannot remain protected. It is unlikely in the current economic climate that any development will take place on the site for some time. Removing the protected status on the building will just ensure that it remains idle but when the economy improves a developer could move in and demolish it. This cannot be allowed to happen. I would ask the County Council in consideration of the new Local Area Plan to ensure that whatever mechanism or status is needed is put in place to protect this building," "As residents will be aware, I have kept in regular contact with NAMA about the La Touche Hotel. They carried out some remedial works on the building last year – removing the ugly hoarding on the front side, repairing broken windows, making the site more safe, etc. NAMA has informed me that it is continuing to market the property. I hope that this will be successful in time and see no reason why the site cannot continue to be marketed – as is the case now – with the protection of the La Touche building intact,"