Re: Eglinton Street Dilemma
😡 I received a call today outlining the Further Information request regarding Eglinton Street – as it also happens, the Irish Examiner also had an article based on similar information.
The exaggerated headline in the Irish Examiner read; “Council rejects tower!” a mild overstatement… :rolleyes:
Originally I was told that the issue was somewhat rectifiable – that was the opinion of CCC. However O’Flynn Construction (OFC) would not be in agreeance. The second Further Info request is now seeking to reduce basement car-parking from 553 spaces to about 127 (1.5:1 to .53:1) – which quite frankly is utterly ridiculous. Planner Evelyn Mitchell states the parking numbers are in contravene to the City Development Plan – that’s not entirely true. Also, a worry was expressed about teh scale of the development (not including the tower element which seems to have escaped so far the brunt of any disagreement). Michael O’Flynn is now seeking a meeting with Joe Gavin (City Manager) to rectify the situation – he is understandbly upset. OFC spent the good part of a year working with CCC Planners on the details of the project – everything was discussed from the height, scalem density and parking – all issues, after strenuous negotiation were agreed upon – and now, CCC seem to be taking a bit of a U-turn. The City Development Plan seeks to limit the number of short-term parking numbers in the city centre by use of car-parks (multi-storey and basement) with the CCA (Core Commercial Area) of which Eglinton Street is a part. However, the majority of occupancy in the development will be long-term residency parking – OFC note the importance of saleability (and thus viability) such provision allows. Furthermore, because the area around the former An Post site is heavily trafficked and the development also proposes retail and office uses – short-term parking is almost impossible in the immediate surrounding areas, plus, any such parking there available would prove a potential safety hazard given the lack of pedestrian provision and intensity of traffic flows in the area. By incorporating the parking facility within the development, OFC are providing a ‘safety island’ in which shoppers, gym go-ers and office employees can safely avail of the facilities. Parking provision is further being made for employees of nearby No.5 and No.6 Lapps Quay which has no existing parking allowance, unlike nearby City Quarter. Eglinton Street is falling in-line with CCC Development Policy in make a quantity of such provision available to service the nearby developments. Also, the retail facilities included in the Eglinton Street development are being earmarked for heavy bulky retail goods – at CCCs request, which is anxious to see such retailling moved from the city centre (and heavy goods vehicles by extension) to areas such as Eglinton Street which does not penetrate the city centre retail area and facilitates traffic well. The parking is essential for consumer welfare in loading and offloading such bulky goods (e.g. furniture) – as well as allowing for proper servicing of such facilities. CCC don’t seem to be understanding the issues here clearly – and are completely ignoring the passing-trade element of the project in retail and offices which is specified as the required ground-floor use in new developments within the CCA – that’s stated by CCC in their Development Plan 2004 itself! By disbanding such facilities to compensate for reduced parking and development scale, OFC would then in fact be conflicting with Development Plan guidelines. Can anyone see the problem here??? It’s absurd planning on behalf of CCC – they are holding back a decent project which will dramatically help further the aesthetics, economy and development of Cork into a modern, confident city.
I really hope OFC are vindicated on this one (they’ve been treated poorly and carelessly since the get-go on this one) – but then again, they’re meeting with Joe Gavin – the man who decided half-way through he’d rather an office development on the site. Not good enough CCC.
I really don’t think planners are aware of the brilliant opportunity their messing about with here. This may be a first-party ABP job here – that is if OFC don’t withdraw the application fearing a negative outcome and/or list of conditions. I hope City Manager talks resolve this a.s.a.p.
IF and hopefully WHEN the project does get the go-ahead, the development will be constructed in 2 phases (after initial phase basement preparations) with 2 very tall tower cranes erected on site – the tower and western elevation will be completed first, and soon after, the southern and eastern phases will be later complete. The more I assess this project, the more impressed I am with it.
And furthermore, CCC are now up in arms about the lack of a Skateboard Park being provided for Cork’s many young skaterboarding fanatics. In fairness to Joe Gavin, he did his best on this one – a park was earmarked for Kennedy Park but subsequently shot-down by an almost 2 to 1 vote by city councillors against such a project. Now, the very same people are fuming and complaining that there is no park in place!!! The ineptitude of Cork City Council grows ever frustrating! 😡