Re: Re: well what about the developments popping up in the shannonside ?
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Two items that came up for discussion at last weeks City Council meeeting. It looks like the proposal to redevelop the Limerick boat club site could be dead in the water! Sorry!:rolleyes: For the development to go ahead, the boat club would have to be removed from the list of protected structures and the site re-zoned, which would require the support of a majority of City Councillors
City councillors snub boat club proposals
City councillors have voiced strong objections to a proposed development on the site of Limerick Boat Club, insisting that the â€œmodernistic and futuristicâ€ design will take away from Sarsfield Bridge and its surroundings.
At this monthâ€™s city council meeting on Monday, Councillor Kathleen Leddin led a chorus of criticism of the joint application from the boat club and Fordmount Developments. â€œ
This is the kind of development that will have to be looked at in a careful light. I think it will take away from the bridge, the monument on it and Shannon Boat Club on the other side. Itâ€™s a modernistic and futuristic building set in a very traditional area of Limerick. Itâ€™ll ruin the bridge, which has been there for years, with a big glass box,â€ she said of the proposed mixed-use development.
The plans aim to demolish the boat clubâ€”currently a listed building that has been located there since 1870â€”and create a four level, 4,215 square foot structure on Wellesley Pier.
It will incorporate offices, â€œcivic spaceâ€ and a restaurant and will also provide new pedestrian access at bridge level.
The boat club will be accommodated in the multi-million euro development, which was designed by Belfast based, McCann Moore Architects.
Cllr John Gilligan said that he was â€œappalledâ€ at the proposals, which offer a â€œcheap answerâ€ by using steel and glass for the ultra-modern design. â€œThis will interfere with one of the most beautiful bridges in Ireland and also with the other boat club, which is very complementary. Itâ€™s appalling no matter what way you look at it. I would ask the council to protect the heritage of the city.â€
Cllr Michael Hourigan asked â€œwhat will it look like in 25 or 50 years time?â€ while Cllr Maria Byrne referred to the design as â€œa monstrosityâ€.
Senior Executive Planner, Dick Tobin, warned councillors that plywood models often do not give a good overall impression. â€œIn this case, we will probably be asking for visualisations of the plans in situ, particularly in the context of the surroundings and nearby buildings,â€ he said, adding that computer generated imagery would create a more accurate impression of the design.
For the project to go ahead, elected members will have to vote to remove the boat club from the list of protected structures and re-zone the site from to mixed use development instead of recreational use. A decision on the application is not expected until a later date in the summer.
Lack of movement on Opera Centre costing city at least â‚¬170k in rates
Limerick City Council is losing at least â‚¬170,000 a year in rates revenue because most of Patrick Street is vacant pending the beginning of work on the landmark â€˜Opera Centreâ€™.
This financial loss is also expected to increase because the project may not be complete for up to three years and the planning application has now been expanded to include more streets and properties.
Cllr Jim Long pointed out that on May 9, Regeneration Developments Ltd applied to incorporate the Town Hall and the Granary (both protected structures) and buildings on Ellen Street, Michael Street and Bank Place into the plans. â€œThis means that the Granary and businesses on Ellen Street will cease to trade and then the loss of rates could double.â€
Councillor Diarmuid Scully questioned a â‚¬650,000 deficit in the councilâ€™s 2007 end of year financial statement with specific reference to Patrick Street. He said that the longer a large section of the street remained vacant, the more â€œsevereâ€ the impact would be on council finances.
Acting Head of Finance, Pat Murnane, said that Patrick Street was just â€œone elementâ€ of the deficit while a â‚¬250,000 overdraft was another. â€œAny vacant commercial property in the city is entitled to a 50% refund on rates paid so the owner only has to pay half and the council loses out on this. This is where the â‚¬170,000 figure is coming from,â€ he said.
Cllr John Gilligan said that he has noticed a large number of vacant and derelict propertiesâ€”some owned by â€œproperty speculatorsâ€ that are â€œjust lying thereâ€” and â€œthis does very little for our coffers. We need a more rigorous pursual of developers that are leaving buildings vacantâ€.
The â€˜Opera Centreâ€™ will incorporate a massive multi-storey shopping centre with â€œretail anchors and 38 no. ancillary retail/service unitsâ€.
A decision on the planning application is due on July 3 and it was recently reported that construction may begin as soon as September if it is successful.