A proposed new hotel on the site of the former Coliseum cinema in Cork city has hit a stumbling block after city planners raised concerns about the "dominating effect" the structure would have on the street.
International Investment ICAV had proposed the redevelopment of the Leisureplex site, formerly the Coliseum cinema, and adjacent buildings to provide for a 171-bedroom hotel.
The proposal included modifications to the existing facade of the former postal sorting office, which is a protected structure, to allow for the construction of a five- to seven-storey building on MacCurtain Street and Brian Boru Street.
However, city planners have raised concerns and told the developer to revise its design. The developer has six months to comply with the request.
City planners wrote to the developer outlining issues with the "continuous parapet" on Brian Boru Street and the "continuous design of the additional five storeys over the plot boundary between the former sorting office and coliseum".
They said it creates an "amalgamated, dominating effect which is disharmonious" with the size of the plot.
"The design of the former sorting office is based on symmetry and the proposed structure above it is visually unbalanced," planners said in the request.
"A drop in the parapet height on the section of the building over the protected structure, to reflect the original plot boundaries, would resolve plot amalgamation on the urban grain here and harmoniously reflect the symmetry of the original structure."
In addition, it says the "mass and scale of the five storeys" has a dominating effect. Developers were told to submit revised designs to reflect these concerns.
It also advises the appointment of a built heritage conservation expert to carry out a conservation report, as the former sorting office is a protected structure, and information on transport and the environmental impact of the project is also sought.
During the planning process, a number of concerns were raised.
The Victorian Quarter business group, which represents traders on MacCurtain Street and adjacent streets, raised concerns about the conservation aspects of the development.
The group said it supports the development "in principle" as it would bring more footfall to the area but said a "higher quality design, a better use of materials and a more sympathetic approach" are needed.
An Taisce also raised concerns about the height of the building and said it is "overbearing" and "severely compromises the quayside integrity" of the neighbouring Bridge House.