Re: Horgan’s Quay
No – I think what you read was Noel O’Flynn giving out that Cork was being treated 2nd best yet again by CIE as Heuston and Connolly Stations up in Dublin were getting the full treatment. It fairness, Connolly and Heuston have higher volumes of traffic movement so its no surprise that they have had and needed to receive revamps – but CIE have treated Cork appallingly over Kent Station and Horgan’s Quay redevelopment. Treasury Holdings and Manor Park Homes have apparently threatened to withdraw their proposals as a result – I’m not quite so sure that’s accurate as Treasury and Manor Park were only a number of developer names in the barrel. Joe Gavin, Billy Kelleher, John Minihan and Noel O’Flynn have pledged to push for a firm application regarding Horgan’s Quay for 2005 from CIE – but at the end of the day, they can only do so much. A number of plans have been drawn up regarding Horgan’s Quay ever since Owen O’Callaghan proposed to construct an IT and Business Park on the site many years ago – which was famously boycotted by the then Minister Michael Lowry and Bernard Allen (it was a Fine Gael vs Fianna Fail cock-up that cost Cork up to 600 jobs). You may remember I post one Horgan’s Quay masterplan image a few pages back – but developers involved have also funded a number of other design proposals, most of which include high-rise buildings of varying scale and design quality to accomodate the expected 5000 or so residential units ear-marked for the site. These buildings are generally slender in their east-west profile as to minimise visual disruption from northern valley slope residencies. 2 plans in particular have particular appeal to me – they both facilitate an extensive commercial/retail/leisure and social ‘town centre’-style area along the quay with a central public plaza; above this 3 attractive high-rise residential buildings stand (east, centre, west – 20, 25, 20 storeys resepectively) with interconnecting lower level residential and commercial levels. An extensive reworking of the quayside is proposed to maximise the waterfront area which is to include a boardwalk (with docking accommodation) from Railway Street to Water Street. Pedestrian access is provided by a number of safe crossings and one over-road pedestrian walkway/bridge which extends from the base of the central high-rise. Kent Station in both these plans, as with almost all of the other masterplans for the quay, is altered to face the waterfront with access roads linking into a new arrivals and departure hall – this then faces onto the quay to the south and central public plaza to the east. A new 900-space multistorey car-park is provided to the rear of the existing terminal, fronting the Lower Glanmire Road. Many of the masterplans overlap in certain areas but I’m sceptical over whether such plans (even half of such plans) will make the final cut if CIE does finally commit to its long long overdue promises. My fear now is a substandard ‘Cork Bus Station scenario’ where a novelty, second-rate proposal is implemented consequent of mounting public and political pressures. In fairness to Joe Gavin, he has said, we want movement – but we will not sacrifice the immense potential of the quay to a second-rate proposal. 2005 may be the year – we wait anxiously.