Banks stalling development of city sites, claims manager

THE viable regeneration of key Cork city sites is being stalled because developers can’t get credit from the banks.

City manager Joe Gavin said one developer, who acquired a landmark site in 2005, is ready to move on the project but “can’t get a cent from the banks”.

Until the credit issue is “addressed urgently at national level”, dereliction will be an issue in parts of the city, Mr Gavin said.

He made his comments after councillors raised concerns about the shabby state of several city centre sites, including the former Capitol Cinema site on Grand Parade.

Mr Gavin said despite the fact that the city council had granted planning permission for the redevelopment of the site, the developer is willing and ready to move, but can’t get money from the bank.

Padlake Ltd, spearheaded by developer Joe O’Donovan, acquired several sites around the former cinema, including the Vineyard Bar and Market Lane, and some property on St Patrick’s Street in recent years. He then acquired the cinema building after its closure in 2005.

Plans to build apartments, offices, bars and restaurants on the site were shot down on several occasions. But earlier this year, the council finally gave permission for a scaled-down version with 13 conditions attached.

An Taisce has appealed the decision to An Bord Pleanála and a decision is due in June.

Cllr Terry Shannon said until the issue is resolved, something should be done to make the building look more attractive.

Meanwhile, seven years after its closure, a third party appeal against plans to redevelop the Crow’s Nest site at Victoria Cross, has been withdrawn.


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