well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby Dreamstate » Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:38 am

NevilleNeville wrote:The big issue with the Boat Club decision is the fact that the majority vote made by councillors, with no formal training in architectural conservation, to remove a building from the list of protected structures, demeans the process of deeming builidngs worthy of being recorded as protected structures in the first place. Lets not forget that the building was included in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage for Limerick City less than two years ago. If it was deemed significant enough to be listed at that point this decision seems all the more ridiculous. I could accept if there was a forum or committee decision by people with a track record in conservation but councillors making these decisions is a mockery of the legislation that was introduced to protect our heritage in the first place.

The fact as to buildings being commercial or not is not really the issue but that the other builidngs referred to i.e. Thomond Park and the Concert Hall are public buildings whereas the proposal for this site is primarily offices with the exception of the new boat club. A new public building might make the decision easier to swallow but not another office block.

Finally I wouldn't hold out too much hope for a quality contemporary builidng both due to the submission to the council thus far and also looking at the developer's previous track record for producing what might be solid commercial architecture but hardly inspiring artworks. The local authority had the option of insisting on an architectural competition for the site to replace the heritage it deemed fit to be removed but rejected it. Seems like Skibereen has more progressive thinking than Limerick these days!


Well Mr.Neville , I checked the scheme out and there is in fairness 1 room at the Bridge Level that has been named as Civic Use. It would probably fit about 40-50 people at a squeeze! As for the Museum etc.....?????http://www.limerick.ie/eplan/FileRefDetails.aspx?file_number=08163&LASiteID=0

Im also very amused that the LCC website states that 'PLANNER : NONE' made the decision.Sources tell me that Ms.Campbell under Mr.Reeves guidance made this decision ....also .I will personally pay for any of the objectors appeal costs....you can call me on 061-496347
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby justnotbothered » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:51 pm

CologneMike wrote:


It was my understanding that the main thrust of this proposal were for . . . .

Proposals for the facility off Sarsfield Bridge are to coincide with Limerick city's regeneration programme and the 'riverside city' development and include a museum, coffee shops, tourist information services, facilities for the theatre and the arts as well as a new pedestrian bridge linking the facility to Harvey's Quay and up onto the newly pedestrianised Bedford Row. "Our objective is to take advantage of the current riverside city programme to improve our facilities, while at the same time securing the future of Limerick Boat Club on Sarsfield Bridge and thereby promoting the sport of rowing in Limerick for generations to come," said Dermot Moloney, president, Limerick Boat Club

Mr Daly added that he believes this development should "regenerate Limerick Boat Club" and believes it is a "joint venture", rather than a commercially driven project.

He said his "dream is to have a restaurant on the top floor and have people say that when they come to Limerick they must go the restaurant on the top floor." A coffee shop could also be located towards the front of the building, where people could overlook the River Shannon, but Mr Daly said he does not "want to dictate the use as it may fly in the face of the planning process."
Source Limerick Leader



Sure, people would easily agree on what solid commercial architecture is, but to find a common census on inspiring artworks depends on the eye of the beholder.

Architect Sean McCann said their design takes its inspiration from "ship hulls, lightweight fabric sails, rowing oars and robust sea walls."

Image

Evaluating the contents of the NIAH?

If I dare ask, what were the merits for this modest clubhouse structure (c.100 year old) to make its way into NIAH in the first place? Why was the boat storage shed not included as well?

If we take a look at all the components of the bridge that are listed in the NIAH i.e. Sarsfield Bridge, Shannon Boat Club, 1916 Memorial, Limerick Boat Club, Floating Dock (Wellesley Pier and Harvey's Quay), Lock (Honan’s Quay) (click also additional images) and then assign to each structure a merit note lets say from 1 to 10. Then my subjective order of merit would shape out like this . . . .

Note 10: Sarsfield Bridge
Note 9: Floating dock (Wellesley Pier / Harvey’s Quay)
Note 9: Lock (Honan’s Quay)
Note 7: Shannon Boat Club House
Note 6: Memorial (1916 Rising)
Note 3: Limerick Boat Club House

Therefore in my opinion, my lowly merit note for the “Limerick Boat Club House” would be enough to justify the City Councils right to re-consider its importance in the interest of the city when comparing the benefits of the Fordmount’s proposal as against the heritage loss of the original clubhouse.

The real big issue for me is the potential damage this proposal can inflict on the character of the bridge / floating dock but not the loss of this clubhouse building!

Value wise, I think the city is being offered a good deal in that we are trading-in a “boat” here and getting a “ship” in return!

Image

Are we bold enough to risk change with this contemporary design with its proposed daily use to enhance Limerick’s finest structure?

[align=center]Or[/align]

Are we reckless enough to change forever with this contemporary design with its proposed daily use to debase Limerick’s finest structure?

Personally this is a hard one to call?


You're a dreamer Mike if you take the developer at his word.

We're effectively building a block with no windows facing either Poor Man's Kilkee or Sarsfield bridge. Don't be fooled by words, look at the plans and see for yourself how crap they are.

Limerick Boat Club have no rowers btw, they couldn't even arrange a social, masters crew this year, ffs.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby justnotbothered » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:56 pm

Dreamstate wrote:Well Mr.Neville , I checked the scheme out and there is in fairness 1 room at the Bridge Level that has been named as Civic Use. It would probably fit about 40-50 people at a squeeze! As for the Museum etc.....?????http://www.limerick.ie/eplan/FileRefDetails.aspx?file_number=08163&LASiteID=0

Im also very amused that the LCC website states that 'PLANNER : NONE' made the decision.Sources tell me that Ms.Campbell under Mr.Reeves guidance made this decision ....also .I will personally pay for any of the objectors appeal costs....you can call me on 061-496347


I'm lodging an appeal anyway Dreamstate, and I'm glad to spend my own money on it but if you want to give me a hand drafting it, send me a pm.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby CologneMike » Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:55 pm

justnotbothered wrote:You're a dreamer Mike if you take the developer at his word.


As you know yourself putting thoughts to paper, looking for material, scanning through old posts involves a little bit of time and effort. Therefore the more surprised I find your remark which leaves me with the impression that you don’t seem to bother to read peoples posts properly!

The bottom line for me was to bring a little bit balance to the “Limerick Boat Club” topic.

justnotbothered wrote:We're effectively building a block with no windows facing either Poor Man's Kilkee or Sarsfield bridge.


Since you have access to these plans for the last year or so, I would say your eye sight is letting you down. If you study both images together, one can get a three dimensional perspective of the Poor Mans Kilkee side of the building and it reveals a lot of glass to me.

Image
Image

justnotbothered wrote:Don't be fooled by words, look at the plans and see for yourself how crap they are.


To say that the plans are crap is farcical. The Ennis Road side needs some improvement and the pier location maybe controversial, but these plans are never crap!

Below are before and after visualisations

  • Bedford Road
  • Sarsfield Street
  • Honan’s Quay
  • Ennis Road
  • O’Callaghan’s Strand
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby justnotbothered » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:13 am

CologneMike wrote:The bottom line for me was to bring a little bit balance to the “Limerick Boat Club” topic.



To say that the plans are crap is farcical. The Ennis Road side needs some improvement and the pier location maybe controversial, but these plans are never crap!





You aren't bringing balance, you're cheerleading for an ugly building in a sensitive site.

The plans are absolute rubbish, I'm old enough to remember the many promises which came with Cruises street, Arthurs Quay Shopping centre and Steamboat quay to be as easily impressed by some lego inspired rubbish flung up on the river. It's so utterly out of character with it's surrounds that I struggle to see how you can see any merit in it.

The reason the you might have felt there wasn't any balance to this topic is because when 9 out of 10 people can see a proposal is crap, it's always going to bring about an unbalanced discussion. If we all rounded up against Steamboat Quay would you suddenly feel a burning desire to praise it? Or if we all felt Todds was looking a bit shabby, would you suddenly see careful, exotic nuances in it's design which we have somehow missed?

Again, I'm surprised you stake any part of your reputation on this site by defending and cheerleading this project.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby demolition man » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:24 am

I'm all for it.That makes it 8 out of 10.;)
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby Nautiman » Sun Feb 08, 2009 2:51 pm

Me too, make that 7 out of 10.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby bonzer1again » Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:18 pm

I'm still not quite sure about it, I would guess that looking at it from down the river, from Shannon Bridge, that it would look quite impressive,with the glass front, but most people won't really be seeing it from there, it will be as they traverse sarsfield bridge. From either direction on Sarsfield bridge it doesn't really impress as the sides of the building are very off putting. I have one question about it though, that I hope someone can answer, will the access ramp from poormans kilkee, be able to be raised, I'm sure it must, but I haven't seen it said anywhere.
So it's still 7 out of 10, and Colognemike great work with the photo's, they really are a great way to get a feel for the building!!
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby vkid » Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:11 pm

wasnt mad on the original but i kind of like the updated design.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby gunter » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:05 pm

Buildings at locations like this (the Boat Club) have to be either, very low key (like the existing structures), or genuinely outstanding.

I think the proposed building is quite good, but I don't think it's outstanding.

Are there not too many competing design ideas going on? the sloping glazed feature at one end, the old fashioned, modern movement, strip window bit (which is nautical in inspiration and I quite like) and the sloping facade panels bolted onto one side!

If there was some hierarchy in the use of these different design themes, maybe it would work better, but each or these elements is of almost equal scale and, apparently, equal importance. It looks unconvincing to me, like a car assembled using bits of a Hummer, bits of a Edsel, and an airport control tower.

I think that Nevillex2 made a very valid point earlier in saying that, given the 'protected structure' status of the existing buildings, the Council should have insisted on an architectural competition for any development that involved their demolition. That would have removed a huge part of the uncertainty about the architectural quality of the proposed replacement, given that the councillors decision to de-list is presumably tantamount to a grant of planning permission in this case.

I take on board CologneMike's assertion that there's a bigger picture here about injecting some energy and can-do into the regeneration of the city, but this is a big gamble for Limerick and one that hinges almost completely on the architecture.

Lets hope the guys in Bord Pleanála will still be on top of their game when this lands on their desk.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby CologneMike » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:12 pm

Tuborg wrote:Just after noticing that RTE are currently screening a series about prominent Irish streets called "On the Street Where You Live."

Tonights programme (RTÉ One, 7.30pm) features O Connell Street and is said to include previously unseen footage of the Todds fire amongst other things.

Could be interesting!


Image

Joe Malone: Joe is a regular of The White House Pub for 50 years or so, although now he just sticks to coffee. He fought in the famous Todds fire of 1959, but there has been tough times and he left Limerick in the 1980s as it was 'dead'. Joe returned from London 14 years later to find the place had become far too material, so he has his regrets!


I would have loved to have seen Joe Malone’s contribution.

How did the programme fare out?

Damn, could not access it because of some stupid copyright reasons! :mad:

Can anybody upload it to youtube?
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby KeepAnEyeOnBob » Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:14 pm

I hate these mock-up renders, with their cheerful sky and carefully-shadowed development in pristine condition. It's completely divorced from reality, where you have to put up with the thing under a grey sky, with half the building in shadow (and casting shadow), and the effects of rain/damp/pollution on the white building panels. Decent proper buildings look respectable in all conditions, even if not perhaps as flashy on a mock-up. justnotbothered is right about it being out of character.

I can understand how some people might find the concept to have some appeal - there is a nice dramatic element to the front of the building (i.e. the part facing down the Shannon) and perhaps it is possible to have that kind of development on the boat club site (certainly one can find examples in other countries) without detracting from the bridge.

However, I do not understand anyone trusting in the execution of the design, or indeed how a lot of the building would look in-situ for real. Without giving up aspirations for our region and country to improve - the track record is not good. Perhaps a comparison with Arthur's Quay or Cruises Street isn't fair, but I would certainly expect it to perhaps be more Clarion than Riverpoint in quality (the latter is acceptable, particularly in its location, but by no means some incredible feat of design - the former is still acceptable, but just a bit cheap-n-nasty looking with the panelling and design).

I certainly think the site is too sensitive for people to be cheerleading wildly for the development, or councillors to be so swift in removing protected status from relatively inoffensive existing buildings.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby Tuborg » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:44 pm

justnotbothered wrote:
The plans are absolute rubbish, I'm old enough to remember the many promises which came with Cruises street, Arthurs Quay Shopping centre and Steamboat quay to be as easily impressed by some lego inspired rubbish flung up on the river. It's so utterly out of character with it's surrounds that I struggle to see how you can see any merit in it.



I think essentially that is the point. I wouldnt go as far as to say that the plans are rubbish because there are elements of this design that have some merit, namely the curved glass frontage. I dont have an issue with the loss of the existing buildings either, because in fairness they are extremely modest structures, with very little architectural significance.

Ultimately it is Sarsfield Bridge which stands to be the big loser here, the more I look at the plans, all I really see is this proposed structure basically giving the two fingers to the bridge. It just dosent pay it enough respect, the design of the bridge facing elevation isnt strong enough, it just looks like its cocking its ugly arse at it!

You really do get a sense of deja vu here. How many times have we seen proposals like this being championed as some kind of a massive leap forward for the city?

Admittedly Im not old enough to remember the development of Arthurs Quay or Cruises Street so I can only go on what I've read and what I've seen. The decision to allow the demolition of Cruises Hotel in particular was highly contentious and a huge gamble. Subsequently, the novelty of Cruises Street wore off pretty quickly and most people would agree that the city is now worse off for that decision.

I know its difficult to directly compare these two situations but there are definitely similarities all the same. We cant keep making the same mistakes over and over again and I think recent history would tell us to be very wary of this current proposal!
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby vitruvius » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:45 pm

you'd swear that land in Limerick was €100m an acre! - there's plenty of space in Limerick for (oh dear!) iconic structures without plonking one into the poor old Shannon. What about the nearby Dunnes site on Sarsfield St and that creepy park in Arthur's quay:)
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby vitruvius » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:59 pm

I know how sad it is to be replying to myself, but the though occurred to me that that park in Arthur's quay was pushed through by the council with the same zeal as this sub Liebeskindian steamship.
And just look how that project,which was deemed necessary for Limerick turned out.
Do they have any collective memory?
Why not just leave well enough alone - let the apartment dwellers continue to sunbathe on poor man's Kilkee.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby Tuborg » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:11 am

CologneMike wrote:I would have loved to have seen Joe Malone’s contribution.

How did the programme fare out?

Damn, could not access it because of some stupid copyright reasons! :mad:

Can anybody upload it to youtube?


Only got around to watching this last night.

Overall it was pretty good and gave a decent insight into the Limerick of yesteryear, although as is usually the case with RTE, they could've made a bit more out of it and expanded on a couple of topics!

I particularly enjoyed Joe Malone's contribution, especially the story about when he was a member of Ranks auxillary fire brigade who were on the way to assist in fighting the Todds fire. Apparently the truck carrying them to the scene braked suddenly at Bedford Row, resulting in the firemen being unceremoniously dumped onto the pavement in front of the watching crowds!:D

The Limerick Film Archive supplied some dramatic footage of Todds facade collapsing onto O Connell Street and also of the helicopter that was brought in to finally demolish the remains of the structure.

The rest of the archive material featured, was from the 1960s and probably the mid 1970s. One thing that struck me was how much busier O Connell Street was in those days. I suppose this was down to the fact that the city centre was the main shopping destination back then as none of the suburban shopping centres existed at that stage.

There was also a small piece on Cruises Hotel and an extract from an RTE News report from 1990 on the Cruises Street development.

Unfortunately though, there was no sign of the old Cannocks building in any of the old footage!
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby foinse » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:18 am

Some news on Colbert station

Action stations as Bus Eireann gets approval

Date: 09 February 2009

A MODERN two-storey bus station is to built at Parnell Street within two years which will bring the terminus "up to the 21st century".
An Bord Pleanala granted planning permission for the €5.5million redevelopment of Colbert Station last week, after it was originally refused by Limerick City Council.

However, at an oral hearing in City Hall last October city planning officers did not voice as much opposition to the designs as originally expressed.

An Bord Pleanala have now overturned their ruling, while outlining a number of conditions before the development can proceed.

Overall, the board found that the plan would benefit the city, in spite of concerns in relation to the impact of works on Colbert Station, a protected structure.

It stated the development "would represent an enhanced transport hub which would be highly desirable in terms of expanding public transport facilities in Limerick city and surrounding areas".

The board also found that it would not adversely affect the proposals for an orbital route along Parnell Street – which was initially the case put forward by refusal by Limerick City Council.

The application by Bus Eireann to rejuvenate the station was partly in response to the Department of Transport's sectoral plan 2006.

And is understood that Bus Eireann may be reliant on the Department of Transport for a portion of the cost of the development, which could determine when construction could begin.

The plans will see a new bus station built at the current car parking area to the side of the existing station building. New car parking facilities will be developed where the bus bays are currently.

A landscape garden is planned for the carpark at the front of the station. An internal walkway will also connect the rail and bus station, providing greater ease of access for passengers.

Built in 1849 and designed by Sancton Wood, also architect of Heuston Station, the station was renamed after Con Colbert, the Limerick man executed following the 1916 Rising.

But the station was not originally intended to be located on Parnell Street. The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage notes that "aristocratic and middle class interests prevented it from being constructed in the more fashionable parts of the city and it was thus built at the edge of the Victorian part of the Limerick city".


http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/Ac...ann.4959413.jp
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby CologneMike » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:34 pm

Thomond Office Interiors

19 Henry Street (Corner Glenthworth Street)

08210

Demolish the existing premises and build a five storey premises consisting of a retail unit on the ground floor and four floors of offices overhead and associated site works.

Decision due next week.

Neighbouring buildings ~ Hanging Gardens ~ Limerick Youth Service

Below a “blue sky free” artist sketch and if somebody still feels that it’s a cheap mock up, then just print it and apply as much grey colour as appropriate! :rolleyes:
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby dave123 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:52 am

CologneMike wrote:Thomond Office Interiors

19 Henry Street (Corner Glenthworth Street)

08210

Demolish the existing premises and build a five storey premises consisting of a retail unit on the ground floor and four floors of offices overhead and associated site works.

Decision due next week.

Neighbouring buildings ~ Hanging Gardens ~ Limerick Youth Service

Below a “blue sky free” artist sketch and if somebody still feels that it’s a cheap mock up, then just print it and apply as much grey colour as appropriate! :rolleyes:


Been a corner prime site, it should of been at least 6/7 storys The ESB site a high rise potential which is accross the road along with the Estuary house which is 8 stories and the River point is behind with 16stories.

I'm very surprised they didn't go higher, it will make the corner look boring and boxish to me, but the front elevation plan does look good to me.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby dave123 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:54 am

foinse wrote:Some news on Colbert station



http://www.limerickleader.ie/news/Ac...ann.4959413.jp




This is great news. Much need life back into this area.
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby dave123 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:56 am

vitruvius wrote:you'd swear that land in Limerick was €100m an acre! - there's plenty of space in Limerick for (oh dear!) iconic structures without plonking one into the poor old Shannon. What about the nearby Dunnes site on Sarsfield St and that creepy park in Arthur's quay:)


They want an iconic struture on the River

Duh....
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby dave123 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:17 am

So is there anything ambitious in the pipeline other than the Opera centre?

Any other plans to continue the Pedestrianisation and the city centre improvements.
Any word on the new street proposal on the corner of Bedford Row?
How is the Hanging Gardens project is that up to full speed in contruction?
How is the Parkvalley S.C going. I hear rumours things are getting back to normal there?
Any news on The Sarsfield site


Anything I haven't mentioned that is under construction.
Any early opening for the Shunnel?
Sorry for all the question's. I haven't been in Limerick in almost 6months:eek:
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby PoxyShamrock » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:28 pm

dave123 wrote:How is the Hanging Gardens project is that up to full speed in contruction?


Work's stopping there in three weeks. :(
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby Tuborg » Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:29 pm


Retirement village and nursing home plans for Kilmoyle (Limerick Leader)

LIMERICK city received a huge boost with confirmation that developer Aidan Brooks is to build a new multi million euro nursing home, dementia unit and retirement homes at Kilmoyle, North Circular Road.
Plans are to be lodged before the weekend with City Hall for the massive project on the 6.5 acre site, which includes the home of former Catholic bishops of Limerick.

The developer paid around £27 million for the site at the height of the economic boom and their were fears that with the recession that the site would not be developed.

The project includes a 60 bedroom nursing home; 10 bedroom dementia unit and 52 retirement homes with a communal pavilion and security lodge.

It is understood that the pavilion will include facilities including a hairdressers and cinema.

Seamus Carr, architect and design team leader, has promised a low density scheme with 46 per cent of the area remaining green. The old Kilmoyle house will be part of the integrated campus, but its purpose has not yet been decided by Mr Brooks.

"We would like to be breaking ground on the site by September, that is if all goes well and we get planning in the next three months," said Mr Carr. If there are objections the project could be put back another three months, if not longer."

"It is low density with a lot of open space, considerably more than other similar projects with 46 per cent open space," said the Henry Street-based architect.

If the proposal is given permission it is expected that hundreds of construction workers would work on the site, which would be a huge boost to the local economy.

Meanwhile, Tony Sadlier, finance manager with the Limerick diocese, which sold the property to Mr Brooks revealed that they considered going ahead with a similar type development on the property.

"At the end of the day, we are not developers and decided to sell it on. It is something we considered doing as many parishioners had suggested it as we have an aging population in the parish. So we very much support what is happening," he added.

Local councillor Kathleen Leddin, who lives nearby, said that she had spoken briefly to Mr Brooks, but had not seen the full plans.
"I would be in favour of a retirement village once it is not over developed and not over built," she stated.

"I think it could be a very useful addition to the area and welcomed," she added.

It is not yet clear what will happen to the actual house, Kilmoyle, which is a detached three-bay two-storey over basement sandstone ashlar house, built in 1845, with Doric portico, and four-bay two-storey over basement side elevations.

Unusually built of sandstone, this building was extensively renovated during the twentieth century and housed a magnificent library. The current Bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray, felt the home was too big for him, when he was appointed Bishop of Limerick and moved to a more modest accommodation at Hawthorns, Annacotty.



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Kilmoyle House
Tuborg
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Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?

Postby Tuborg » Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:03 pm

It also looks as if there may finally be some movement on a possible boundary extension. I really hope the Minister makes a strong decision on this and pays no heed to those neanderthal's out there who seem hell-bent on holding the city back!


Minister Gormley moves on Limerick city boundary

By Petula Martyn

THE Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, has said he will not be "steered in any particular direction by vested interests" when deciding whether or not to extend the boundary of Limerick city.
A white paper on the matter is due to be published in early March, and the minister has said he will be objective in coming to a decision.

"Let me say to you, that as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to do what is best for Limerick and what is best for the region," he told the Limerick Leader.

Minister Gormley said a series of suggestions, including the idea of a single planning authority, have been put forward, and he admitted that some people will not be happy with his "optimal solution".

"I'm in a position where I can act more objectively than previous ministers. Previous ministers were under political pressure. I am not going to allow that interfere with my judgement of things."

Minister Gormley was the first Minister for the Environment in over fifty years to grant a limited extension of the boundary in March last year, to include Caherdavin, Coonagh and Moyross in the city.

"Eaten bread is quickly forgotten, you know," the Minister said. "I did, unlike other previous ministers, give a boundary extension. It might have been limited but it had never been done. It was asked for, it was given and on that particular date county councillors said 'this is it and no more'."

There have, however, been further calls from city councillors across all parties, and the local business community to further extend the boundary to include the city environs.

A draft copy of the Limerick City Development Plan 2010-2016 describes the challenges that lie ahead in terms of developing the city centre.
"The demotion of the city centre in such a way is contrary to national, regional and local policy. It is evident that the role of the city centre in the national hierarchy is under serious threat and such a demotion of the importance of the city centre will impact negatively on the region's competitiveness," it states.

Minister Gormley advised all interested parties not to get "hung up" on any one particular option as a way to address the boundary issue.

"I'm into solving problems, I'm not into rigidities and that's the only way it can be done," he said, "because people need to be flexible in the way that they think.

"No matter what you do, you can't please everybody and I'm expecting that some people will not be happy with what I'm suggesting, but never the less I do think that the proposal that is put forward will be in the best interest of the city."

Limerick Leader
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