Re: * Updates *

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🙂 A decision to grant Richard Walsh & Dick Kiely’s proposal for Dennehy’s Cross has been made 2 days ahead of the original due date. The project, which was subject to the unfair ‘outbursts’ of CAHRA and residents, will see a) the demolition of the dwelling house Grianbru and the former post office; b) the modification of existing ground levels, c) the construction of a mixed use residential and commercial development ranging in height from two to four storeys to include: 1) 22 no. residential units comprising 6 no. 1 bedroomed apartments, 11 no. 2 bedroom duplex units, 2 no. 3 bedroomed apartments and 3 no. 2 bedroomed detached town houses; 2) 1 no. 175m2 cafe/restaurant and 1 no. 99m2 retail unit; 3) a 33 no. space basement car park with access from Victoria Cross Road and 4) all associated site development works. It is a positive move for the area – unfortunately (sigh) knowing the objectors to this project, ABP will be hearing from them in the near future. However, on this note, I must in this instance acknowledge the very practical and diplomatic approach adopted by the planner in charge. His report was well put together and realistic.

🙂 McCarthy Developments Ltd have applied to CCC to increase the height on 2 of its apartment blocks under construction at Jacob Island (Mahon Point). The extension will bring the 2 blocks to an increased height of 6-storeys (from 4) and in line with the neighbouring structures. Increased parking will be also accommodated. McCarthy Developments have based this on what they claim as strong interest and market demand for their project.

🙂 OSB Group, whose 1st Phase of Camden Court (along Carrolls Quay/Camden Quay and Knapps Square) has sold strongly, will commence works on the 2nd Phase of the development in the coming weeks. Corks Art Theatre on Knapps Square have begun vacating their premises and Pa Johnsons Pub is scheduled to close within the next 2 weeks. John F. Supple are main contractors and James Leahy & Associates are the design team for the interesting project which will provide among the most extensive and detailled roof-gardens in Ireland for its residents. The 2nd phase of the project will see 55 apartments constructed over 6-storeys, with a new Cork Arts Theatre development and new Pa Johnsons premises incoporated also. The project is scheduled for completion by July 2006.

Phase One displayed only

– Camden Court and neighbouring Camden Wharf (developed by Hornibrook Builders, constructed by PJ Hegarty & Sons Ltd and designed by J.E. Keating & Associates) are making quite a stir within their area. The deisgn quality and construction standards have been superior. They developments, along with Hanranka Ltd’s Knapps Square development, have added immensely to an area which so badly needed development. Even from Emmet Place, the developments combined look pretty impressive. They provide positive examples of how good projects can contribute superbly to Cork’s cityscape.

🙁 On a slightly sour note, by and far the single worst project to be present to Cork in many a year is in the realms of planning – Charles & Helen McCarthy’s plan for a 64-bedroom, 7-storey hotel at Crosses Green, designed by Derek Tynan & Associates. I received a copy of the VIS today – though I had seen the drawings, the VIS only added to my worst fears. I don’t regard the height as an issue – frankly, if the design is good, such height doesn’t really adversely affect an area, but the pure arrogance of the project design in this instance is gut-wrenching. The hotel is planned on the site of the existing Mill Business Centre – a tall, rectangular brick will arise therefrom cladding in Black Limestone. The design closely resembles Victoria Mills, just black. Balconies have been removed from earlier design outlines – adding to the blandness. It really does look like a huge black wall with no features other than a few windows square windows (such as Victoria Mills). I have never seen a building look so out of place in an area, or even a city like Cork. Truly a horrible, horrible project.

😡 Grind your teeth now to save time later!!! Minister for Transport Martin Cullen has formally announced in the Dail, in response to a local Cork TDs questions, that Cork Airport’s new 140m terminal will NOT incorporate any new air-bridges. I don’t need to say anymore. But while your blood boils – consider this also -> The Governments Track Record on Cork so far….

a.) cut-back, novelty Bus Station redevelopment
b.) No Cork School of Music still
c.) Refusal to move on promises made regarding Horgan’s Quay redevelopment
d.) Exclusion of airbridges from new Cork Airport Terminal

– all the above constitute broken promises!!! Frankly, I’m fed up of it.

But not to end all gloom and doom, I amazingly have found common ground with An Taisce, regarding the Ellesmere Properties (Howard Holdings) Lavitts Quay hotel proposal – their submission has mirrored my sentiment closely (with the exception of the height issue) – neither of us object to the project, in fact, we encourage it – but we both have raised concerns about the design requesting only minor alterations to the facade in the interests of visual amenity and continuity. I know! I felt awkward too. But sure, enjoy it while it lasts I say! We’re still divided on practically every other development issue in Cork! 😀

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