Infill Cork city site has 'rail' scope for development

Developers with 'tunnel vision' are being canvassed for a Cork city centre plot, which directly overlook overlooks two sites where work is now underway on €300 million worth of projects.

This more modest site also overlooks the endpoint of the 1850s-constructed 1,340 yard long rail tunnel, serving the main Cork -Dublin line and running under the bulky hills of the city's northside, joining Kent Rail Station to Kilnap above Blackpool.

Trains quite literally appear, and disappear, at this tunnel mouth, right in view of this compact, overgrown 'brownfield; development site, which has a lapsed planning permission for 17 apartments, and which itself formed part of a late 19th century rail line, from Summerhill to Youghal, set into a rocky ledge against a cliff face.

Just offered for sale is an awkward, long and narrow 0.3 acre site at the Lower Glanmire Road, set directly above the southern city's rapidly evolving north quays Central Business District hinterland, around Kent Station.

It currently scans the construction progress of the €125m JCD Penrose Dock development of offices on Penrose Quay, and the €165m HQ/Horgans Quay development of hotel, offices, retail and apartments being undertaken by Clarendon Properties/BAM, in conjunction with CIE, with the structure of the new Dean Hotel currently rising up.

In contrast to the development values of those two neighbouring on-site projects, worth an estimated combined €300m, this 0.34 acre site carries a €350,000 asking price via Cushman & Wakefield estate agent Seamus Costello.

He says it has a lapsed planning permission grant for 17 apartments, in a three-storey building behind the old stone wall and between two pedestrian footbridges, leading up to the terraces and big, detached homes on Summerhill North.

That planning was granted in 2005, but lapsed in 2010, and included plans for a rooftop garden or open space, and 20 car parking spaces.

Access to the site can be gained via Lower Glanmire Road, and it adjoins another section of the old Summerhill-Youghal rail line, owned by St Patrick's Scouts troop.

It was the scene of a serious rail crash in 1882, which injured 100, 30 of them seriously, when a Youghal train and a Queenstown train collided at the Summerhill station platform.

Being sold now for a private owner, this rail-set Lower Glanmire Road site's planning lapsed in the post-2007 property crash, and is now back on track for as-yet-undecided future uses.

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