Cork planners aim to limit number of buildings over 10 storeys

PLANNERS in Cork have moved to change the city development plan to limit to 10 the number of soaring landmark buildings over 10 storeys in the city.

They have identified specific locations where these “gateway buildings” — designed to provide strategic landmarks for the city — will be allowed and they have ruled out locating them in the city’s historic central core.

A draft policy has been prepared which sets out detailed guidance for each of the proposed tall building locations — in Blackpool, Mahon and the docklands. It states that:

* One 16-storey building (64m) should be located at the corner of the N20/Blackpool Park;

* A medium-rise building of eight to nine storeys (25m) should be located at the corner of Fitz’s Bereen and the N20 in Blackpool;

* A gateway tower up to 16 storeys, possibly designed like a sail, should be located at the apex of Jacob’s Island in Mahon and it should be visible from the harbour, the Dunkettle Road, and the Dublin Road.

Planners have also moved to protect the character of County Hall which they said should remain the dominant building in this part of the city.

The details are contained in a draft “tall buildings policy” which has been prepared for public consultation.

If ratified by councillors, the policy will be inserted to amend the current city development plan.

The news emerged at a council meeting on Monday just days after the city received its single biggest planning application.

Howard Holdings’ visionary €850 million Atlantic Quarter project includes plans for three soaring towers — one of which rises 30 storeys — over its strategic gateway docklands site.

City manager Joe Gavin told councillors that tower, was likely to be the tallest building in the city. “This new policy will give a clear direction to developers as to how the city council wants to see the city develop,” he said.

However, the draft policy says tall buildings would not be appropriate in the north and south Lee Channels, in areas of special character, along the old city approaches and on the city’s ridges.

It also states that tall buildings will only be appropriate where a very high quality public transport system is in operation or proposed.

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