A major jobs boost is expected in Cork after land was rezoned to facilitate the expansion of a business park.
German automation technology firm, Pilz, which employs up to 150 people at its Irish operation based at the Cork Business and Technology Park on the Model Farm Rd in Bishopstown, is expected to acquire the rezoned site and extend its operations which could lead to a doubling of its workforce.
It is understood the expanded operation will become one of the company’s flagship facilities.
City manager Tim Lucey and Lord Mayor John Buttimer hailed the move as a major vote of confidence in the city.
“I am fully supportive of this rezoning,” Mr Buttimer said.
“It is a major endorsement for Cork that a company as successful as Pilz wants to develop a showcase facility here.
“It is part of the export driven sector that will help bring this country out of recession.”
Pilz Ireland executives briefed local councillors on their expansion plans in recent months.
But they had to secure the rezoning of just over four hectares of Department of Agriculture-owned land next to the business park to facilitate their plans.
The site, which houses former department of agriculture laboratories, was zoned residential.
The material contravention of the city development plan was advertised in August and in a report to councillors on Monday night, planners said they considered that the site lends itself to business and technology development.
They said the site would form a natural extension to the business park, and that the proposed rezoning is considered to be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The site is bounded by the business park to the north and west, and Mount Mercy Secondary School to the east.
The rezoning was unanimously rubber-stamped by councillors.
It is the second such rezoning in Cork in recent months.
The council rezoned land around Apple’s European HQ in Knocknaheeny earlier this year, paving the way for a major expansion of its facility.
Pilz is a leading, innovative automation technology company employing almost 1,500 people worldwide.
Based in Cork since 1998, Pilz Ireland provides a range of sensory and technology products for control and monitoring of automated process for a range of industries, including the pharmaceutical, automotive, steel and aluminium, and food and beverage sectors.
It also helps manufacturing companies achieve compliance and safety standards by offering CE marking, risk assessment, process safety design and project management services.
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