The developers behind plans for the €100m revamp of one of Ireland’s oldest suburban shopping centres will have to reapply for planning permission after a ‘technical error’ in the application.
It follows a decision by Cork City Council planners in recent days to declare as invalid last month’s planning application for the regeneration of Wilton Shopping Centre in the city’s western suburbs.
The council declined to comment on the issue, given that the planning process is ongoing. But according to the publicly available planning file, the application, lodged with the council on February 2, has now been formally declared an ‘incomplete application’.
It is understood the issue relates to a “technical error on the planning notices”.
The planning application lodged by Montlake QIAIF Platform ICAV York Property Fund 11, sought a 10-year granting of planning permission for a mixed-use development at Wilton Shopping Centre, on a site of 4.82 hectares.
The ambitious Wilton Town Centre project proposes to retain the centre’s existing malls, while redeveloping the entire northern side of the complex, with a vast new mixed retail-use area, ranging in height from two to seven storeys, on the site of the Penney’s outlet, which faces demolition. A 14-screen cinema with capacity for 1,500 patrons would be constructed, along with a 190-bed hotel, two new public plazas, and a multi-storey car park.
But the Irish Examiner has established that the applicants failed to comply with statutory regulations governing public notices.
It is understood that the wording on the notices omitted details in relation to making available an environmental impact statement in relation to the development for inspection or purchase. It means that a new planning application will have to be lodged.
Details of the revamp of Wilton Shopping Centre were outlined earlier this month by Clarendon Properties, the owners of the 1979-built complex which was one of Ireland’s first suburban shopping centres.
Its traders accept it is in need of significant investment but have expressed concerns about elements of the expansion project.
Larger-scale regeneration plans by the centre’s previous owners, approved by An Bord Pleanála in 2011, never proceeded. However, planning for that scheme is valid for another two years.
Clarendon is the same firm involved in the €160m HQ development on Horgan’s Quay in Cork’s docklands, which secured planning permission last week.
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