Re: Arbutus Lodge Hotel development
Anyone who’s followed my posts will know that I’m a strong advocate for the development of Cork city. I’m have strongly endorsed city projects such as Water Street, City Quarter, No.5 and No.6 Lapps and 21 Lavitt Quays, Paul Kenny’s South Main Street development, John Mannix’s Washington Street development and many more, both online and on the ground – however, I am deeply angered by the grant of permission to Grangefield Developments for the partial demolition of the Victoria-esque Arbutus Lodge Hotel in Montonotte, Cork and the construction of 2 apartment blocks ranging between 3, 5 and 6 storeys high.
I recognise many changes have been made by Grangefield in order to gain planning permission, but the project still remains grossly out of place, unsuited and downright ugly in what is predominantly a leafy, residential housing suburb overlooking the city centre from the northern slopes.
The project has little to no architectural merit (James Leahy & Assoc., Cork) and ruins what is an elegant former manor and hotel. The immediate access is poor and has traffic difficulties as it is. The immediate surrounding area is taken up by a pleasant leafy garden area and a number of unique one of houses overlooking the city. The construction of a 6 storey apartment block devastates resident privacy and brings to which has always traditionally been a nice owner-occupier housing area, the monstrosity of a development which will accomodate temporary residency in the majority – ruining the family centred quality of the area.
2 crimes are being commited here – the devastation of a classic architectural structure which has been adequately retained, and the imposition of an oversized apartment development in an area completely unsuited to such a project.
This is a further notch down for my believe in Cork’s planning authority. How is it that suited city centre projects such as Paul Kenny’s South Main Street office/retail/hotel project are refused (permission was only granted after appeal), and the partial demolition of a architecturally significant structure and erection of an apartment block in a leafy residential suburb gets the go ahead first round? It’s another example of an appalling planning system.
I am an advocate for such large scale development in Cork, but where it is right and suited. This sort of project should be forwarded in a city centre location such as the former Irish Internation Trading Co. premises between Angelsea Street and South City Link, or docklands, or city quay areas, not in a green suburban area.
This is a disheartening development, just when I thought they were copping themselves on.
I only hope Water Street, Mannix project, Eglinton Street, South Main Street and other such projects are given rightful permission. It will help redeem my faith in CCC, but it may be too late for the Arbutus. Hmmm.