Cork apartment block project increased by four floors after consulting An Bord Pleanála

Cork apartment block project increased by four floors after consulting An Bord Pleanála

The developers of a 17-storey apartment block in Cork city centre increased the height of their building after consulting with An Bord Pleanála.

The Railway Gardens development, located just 200 metres from the 17-storey Elysian tower, was initially planned to be 13 storeys tall but was described as "stocky and out of proportion" by the Bord, which advised an increase in height.

Located on a 0.8-acre site adjacent to the South Link Service Station, it includes proposals for 118 apartments, from studios and one-beds to two and three-bed units, including 10 duplexes, and is designed by Cork-based Meitheal Design Partners architects. They will be in blocks of four and six storeys, with a 17-storey tower at the north-west corner.

At 58.5m tall, it will be about 10m shorter than the Elysian tower.

The developers also describe the project as "unashamedly pedestrian-focused". It includes 239 bicycle spaces and just five car parking spaces: three disabled spaces and two for service vehicles.

Cork apartment block project increased by four floors after consulting An Bord Pleanála

The proposal has undergone a number of revisions since initially being mooted with An Bord Pleanála and Cork City Council more than a year ago. Meetings took place in July and November 2018, and May and July 2019, with planners agreeing to increase the height, change the building access and public realm on the site as a result.

The developers said the development is "just the type and volume of accommodation... that will be attractive to young, highly-skilled, mobile workers, possible working in large multinational companies."

If Cork is to be attractive against such opposition for Foreign Direct Investment then accommodation that is high quality, centrally located and convenient to all the services, leisure amenities, restaurants, cinemas, shops etc must be promoted.

The formal application for the Railway Gardens scheme has now been submitted to An Bord Pleanála. The public can make submissions on the scheme until September 18, and a decision has to be made by An Bord Pleanála by December 4. Full details, including all planning and consultation documents, can be viewed on www.southlinkplanning.ie.

Cork apartment block project increased by four floors after consulting An Bord Pleanála

Meanwhile, the developers of a major apartment, office and hotel block next to the city railway station on Horgan's Quay say they hope to break ground on the residential element of the project early next year.

HQ Developments, a joint venture from BAM and Clarendon Properties, expect to complete the hotel and office element of their project "by the end of next summer", according to a spokesperson.

They have now formally applied to increase the apartment element from 216 to 302 units. The increase was first revealed by the Irish Examiner in April, though the application was submitted this week. A decision is due within 16 weeks.

"We hope to be onsite with the residential early next year," a spokesperson confirmed.

The public can view the plans in City Hall or online at resishd.horgansquay.com and have five weeks to make a submission.

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