Revised Albert Quay planning bid prompts critical response

The revised planning application for a major quayside office development in Cork city has prompted a critical response from the management of the adjoining Elysian complex.

Revised Albert Quay planning bid prompts critical response

The application by BAM Properties and developer John Cleary’s Progressive Commercial Construction Ltd was submitted to city planners a month ago, after appeals to An Bord Pleanála against permission granted for a nine-storey office block at Albert Quay.

The original plan was withdrawn following a High Court ruling granting Elysian Management Ltd (EML) leave to seek a judicial review of the planning permission.

The development has been linked to the likely move of hundreds of jobs to Cork by fire and security services firm Tyco.

But the council’s previous approval of the project was the subject of a successful High Court application for leave to seek judicial review on behalf of management of the Elysian scheme which was developed by Michael O’Flynn. The Cleary site, east of Cork City Hall, is currently occupied by disused warehouses, and forms the quayside frontage of the block, where the O’Flynn development includes the landmark Elysian tower.

The new plans, following mediation between the developers and EML, included a down-scaling of the project to eight storeys and other amendments.

But, in a submission to the planning department, consultants for EML claim the revised application did not address all the issues raised in the mediation process.

It had previously claimed the proposal would encroach on part of the Elysian site, an issue which had been considered by the council before granting permission on the original plans.

The latest planning observation says this issue has been addressed but said there are still issues outstanding in the new application, and in subsequent information added to the file by the applicants earlier this month.

They relate to the shoulder heights of buildings — the number of full storeys from street level up to the ceiling of the last full floor below the roof — and in how it is proposed to provide for right-turning traffic from Albert Street onto the quay, east of the site.

“There are a number of planning issues which were discussed and agreed during the pre-application mediation process but were not provided for in the planning application.

“EML wish to ensure that the matters on which agreement has been reached are incorporated into revised plans and particulars before the decision is made to grant permission,” said the submission.

A spokesperson for John Cleary said he had no comment to make on the observation.

It is one of a number made on the revised planning application, the others including routine submissions from the Health and Safety Authority and National Roads Authority. There is also a submission from the firm of developer Owen O’Callaghan which has permission for a 6,000-capacity events centre further east along Albert Quay.

Cork City Council has set a provisional date of June 24 for the application to be decided, although this may be extended if the applicants submit more details on the plans, or if planners request further information on the proposal.

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