A decision on the possible demolition of a listed former convent in Cork which was gutted by fire now hinges on engineering reports.
City manager Tim Lucey said the future of the former Good Shepherd site on Sunday’s Well cannot be decided until a range of structural assessments are considered in full by the city council.
Mr Lucey was responding to written questions tabled by local councillors Tony Fitzgerald (FF) and Mick Nugent (SF).
They asked the manager for an update on the site following the devastating fire which gutted the listed building in the early hours of Nov 13.
The site is under the control of KPMG as receivers.
Mr Lucey said that since the fire, meetings have been held on site with engineers Arup, architects Scott Tallon Walker, and contractor C-Field, which has been appointed by the receivers to assess the damage and draw up a plan for the site’s future management.
“The recently damaged building is cordoned off, works are under way to clear the site of overgrown vegetation, and the process of assessing the condition of the building and other buildings on site is under way,” said Mr Lucey.
“The site is now an active construction site with 24-hour security on site.”
He said once the various reports have been compl-eted, they will be presented to the council’s strategic planing and economic directorate for consideration.
It is only then that a decision to demolish or not will be made, he said.
The councillors asked the manager if they could be kept in the loop as work on the engineering reports progressed.
Mr Lucey said that while that was a matter for the receivers, councillors would be included in the assessment, through various council committees, of the final engineering reports.
Mr Fitzgerald welcomed the update and urged swift progress on the various reports.
“It is a miracle that there was no loss of life in this fire and I commend the fire service, city council staff, and gardaí at Gurranabraher for the professional manner [in which] they contained the fire recently,” he said.
“There remains grave concern amongst the residents of Blarney St, Buxton Hill, and Shanakiel regarding the condition of the site historically, and into the future.
“I am calling on KPMG to reassure the residents that they will adequately secure the site to their satisfaction while awaiting the report.”
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