Decision due on transformation of Kilkenny Georgian mansion into global spiritual retreat
A decision on plans to convert a stunning Kilkenny Georgian house with a storied history stretching back to the 18th century into a spiritual retreat attracting visitors from all over the world will be made within the next fortnight.
The Seraph Foundation, owners of Kilfane House on the Kilfane Demense outside Thomastown and the 79 acres of land on which it is situated has applied to Kilkenny County Council to restore the dilapidated mansion and turn it into a retreat.
The house was put on the market for €1.85 million back in 2016. However the Seraph Foundation only paid a fraction of that price – €395,000 – last year for the house, according to the residential price property register.
The Seraph Foundation are looking for the council to grant them a change of use from a residential dwelling to a guest house. However, the local authority has reverted to the owners with some concerns regarding the sympathy of some of the proposed changes towards the protected structure.
Council planners have concerns about the plans to remove the grand staircase and removal of the floorboards to be replaced with concrete flooring. Other areas where they have requested further information are plans for the window, chimneys, and ventilation, among other requests.
Last week Kilkenny County Council received a 22-page response from the Seraph Foundation and are examining their response.
If given the go-ahead, the Seraph Foundation would like to transform and revive the existing guest bedrooms, function room, and dining hall, while also creating office space and staff accommodation.
The aim is to attract people from all over the world to the estate with the promise of providing a sanctuary to people of all backgrounds and belief systems, where they can come together to share, learn and develop spiritually.
A decision on the plans is due by July 23.