The developer of the long-delayed Event Centre in Cork has submitted a redesign of the project to the local authority in a bid to allay the concerns of City Council planners.
Last October the City Council’s Strategic Planning & Economic Directorate wrote to BAM to seek further information on the long-delayed project.
It had warned the developer that “the extent of dead frontage arising from the location of the service yard and the lack of live uses to South Main Street and the riverfront are of serious concern to the Planning Authority”.
It called on BAM to address the “defensive nature” of the building and redesign it so as to integrate with more successfully with it surroundings.
The seven-page letter made a number of requests of BAM on subjects including how it fits in the public realm, and issues relating to archaeology, road design, transportation, noise, and waste and drainage.
The Council set a deadline of April 3 for BAM to provide its proposals, only for the developer to successfully seek a three-month extension.
The developer submitted extensive documentation to City Hall this week.
The Event Centre will have a 6,000 standing/seating capacity, which will be reduced to 4,000 for all-seater occasions. Its proposals include LED screens on street level to display event content and tourism content, and the section of the building overlooking the South Gate Bridge has been reimagined to address the concerns of a “defensive” design.
Bridges at Crosses Green and Proby’s Quay will be built to coincide with the adjacent student apartment complex, and the Event Centre respectively.
The request for ‘live use’ of the site on South Main Street has been met with proposals for a ticket office to the south of the Event Centre.
“We consider, having regard to the historical use of the site and the considerable potential economic, social and environmental benefits in the overall development, the proposed amendments to be a positive contribution and improvement to the overall design for the development of the site and we recommend that Cork City Council grant planning permission for the proposed amendments,” Will Walsh of Scott Tallon Walker Architects said in the BAM submission.
Cork City Council now has four weeks to decide if it will grant or refuse planning permission for the Event Centre as proposed - but this decision can be appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
Meanwhile, negotiations over the State funding of the project continue.
The sod for the Event Centre was turned more than three and a half years ago by then then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny, who was joined by then-Tánaiste Joan Burton and local politicians at a photoshoot ahead of the 2016 General Election.