High hopes as plans for latest Cork tower lodged

High hopes as plans for latest Cork tower lodged
An artist’s rendition of the 17-storey Railway Gardens on Cork’s Link Road, which will have 118 apartments if planning permission is granted. Picture: Meitheal Design Partners

Cork City’s 17-storey Elysian apartment building may be about to get a neighbouring tower, with planning permission set to be lodged this week for an apartment development of 118 units 200m away.

A ‘fast-track’ strategic housing development application is being made to Bord Pleanála for the ‘build to rent’ 17-storey apartment scheme called Railway Gardens on the 0.8 acre site adjacent to the South Link Service Station, with access from Rockborough Road and linking into the pedestrian bridge/Hibernian Road, close to the Bord Gáis Cork HQ.

It proposes 118 apartments, from studio/ one-beds to two- and three-bed units including 10 duplexes, 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.

Height as proposed will be 58.5m: slightly shorter than its 17-storey decade-old cousin, the 217-unit Elysian, which is 68m high, or 71m tall (over a double basement) including its antenna.

It’s also marginally smaller than the planned Prism, a 15-storey office building by the bus station which has been granted full planning permission for a slender tower of 64.5m.

A view of the public spaces in the proposed development. Picture: G-Net 3D - www.gnet.ie
A view of the public spaces in the proposed development. Picture: G-Net 3D - www.gnet.ie

The site, originally a goods yard and depot for the West Cork Railway which had its terminus at Albert Quay where the Elsyian now stands, is currently used for surface level car parking, and has a lapsed planning granted in 2008 for offices.

The plans include shared/open social and work spaces, a gym and a two-storey amenity space integrated with the retained old stone and brick rail arches.

The development, backed by the Scally family who own the site and the nearby OB Heating business premises, is aimed at addressing the shortage of rental accommodation for Cork’s fast- growing city office market, and will include improved pedestrian and cycle links, with an upgrade to the South Link pedestrian bridge, but will have no car parking element or provision, after discussions with City Hall and Bord Pleanála.

The development will be accessed from the Rockborough Road, opposite the Bord Gáis HQ/ offices, and will have some units directly open to that road which runs from Shalom Park to the Old Blackrock Road.

Other towers proposed for Cork include a 25-storey apartment development on Albert Quay, and a 34-storey hotel at Port of Cork.

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