Re: A Bridge Too Far…?
With the announcement that the Shandon Bridge, connecting Pope’s Quay with Cornmarket Street, will finally be opened next week, it would seem engineer and developer John Paul Lennon (also behind Sean Meehan’s withdrawm application for an over-river multi-storey car-park at Grenville Place) is back at it again!
Mr. Lennon has employed architect Sam Stephenson (of Central Bank and AIB HQ fame) to design a new proposal for a 30m euro retail and residential development…on a bridge, spanning Anderson’s Quay and St. Patrick’s Quay. This is Mr. Lennon’s second attempt at building a residential bridge at this location over the Lee. His previous application, back in 1998, consisted of a 5-storey structure over a specially constructed 73-metre bridge w/ 48 apartments and a commercial arcade. The application was refused – among the many reasons cited, it was stated the development would have constituted a major intervention on an unprecedented scale, which would irrevocably alter the spatial characteristics and dynamics of the city centre. One of the visual and architectural characteristics of the city is the openess of the quayside areas with views upstream and downstream giving a distinctive city image that would be significantly altered by the proposed development. The proposed development was claimed to be functionally isolated and not relating to either existing nor proposed pedestrian routes in the city.
Inspired by trips to Venice (Ponte de Rialto), Prague (Charles Bridge) and Florence (Ponte Vecchio), Mr. Lennon will now lodged an application for his development in Janurary of next year (2005). The new proposal would see a western bridge elevation used as an open pedestrian walkway, with the eastern elevation catering for an extensive shopping arcade. 12 apartments would be developed above these shops, ranging up to 3-storeys high – with 6 penthouses above this again. Mr. Lennon projects a 2-year construction period, hoping to see the proposal up and running by Christmas 2007.
Besides the fact that the sums don’t add up on this one, novelty aside, this would be a woeful addition to the city – especially at this location. Even were it to be built on a less imposing site, say somewhere back along the South Channel, I wouldn’t have such a problem with this – but I am confident CCC will cite the same reasons as before in its refusal.
-> Now this one is a corker (no pun intended)! Frinailla Developments Ltd applied to demolish the existing structures on their Watercourse Road sites (that of the 40m euro residential development fame) and conduct subsurface investigations. A few weeks later, in 3 seperate applications, Frinailla lodged their development intentions for a new 5-storey residential and community services development (see previous posts). When the planning decision came about earlier today fort he first batch of applications (related to excavations) – CCC refused grant based on the fact that no development proposal was attached to the applications, and therefore it could not justify a grant where such demolition and excavation would create an unsightly street-scape and cause a resident nuisance (i.e. asbestos etc). So, perhaps if Frinailla had just lodged their development intentions at the same time as part of a single application (in which excavation work was sought alongside the development proposal) – planning may perhaps have been granted. It all sounds a bit arse-ways to be honest. But I kind of see where CCC are coming from on this one. Frinailla just caused themselves more grief in a move they probably thought was smarter than it actually was. Hopefully their residential plan will get through this time at least.
– However, I’m sure Frinailla will be delighted by the fact that they were today granted planning by ABP for a 70m 206 unit residential development near Ballincollig and Carrigrohane today. Among the conditions of grant was a point citing Frinailla must allocate a proportion of their development to Cork County Coucil’s affordable housing scheme. Kieran Conway of Frinailla didn’t seem to unhappy about the condition.