Plans for a new hotel on MacCurtain Street in Cork have been put on hold following an appeal against the decision of Cork City Council to approve the development.
Bridge House Management Company, which represents the owners of apartments and a commercial office unit in an adjoining building on St Patrick’s Quay, is seeking to overturn the council’s decision to allow the demolition of the Leisureplex bowling alley and arcade to accommodate a 171-bedroom hotel.
The new seven-storey hotel, which will include a bar and restaurant at ground floor level, is being developed by International Investment ICAV on a site which operated as the Coliseum cinema for many years.
The management company expressed concern that the construction phase of the new hotel would cause major disruption to people and businesses in the area.
It claimed the new hotel would also create traffic problems in the area particularly due to the lack of provision for any parking and result in a loss of light and privacy for residents of Bridge House due to its overbearing nature.
The company has called for the height of the building to be reduced by at least two floors. “We submit that the proposals are not in keeping with the appropriate and balanced approach to the development of the site but represents an overdevelopment of the site to maximise its commercial viability for the promoters,” Bridge House said.
It claimed architectural and planning considerations should not be compromised to allow an investment fund maximise their investment.
While welcoming the proposed development of a hotel on the Leisureplex site, a committee which was established to promote Cork City’s Victorian Quarter has said it has serious concerns about the conservation aspects of the project.
It claimed “a higher quality design, a better use of materials and a more sympathetic approach to the Coliseum building built in 1913 needs to be adopted.”
The Cork branch of An Taisce said the use of the site for a hotel development was welcome as the junction currently presents “a bleak and unwelcoming appearance at an important approach into the city centre.” While it said the loss of the original Coliseum cinema building was regrettable, it said the gain would still appear to outweigh the loss.
With its compact, vibrant centre, its picturesque, hilly setting on the River Lee and its superb quality built heritage, Cork is one of the great cities of Europe.— An Taisce (@AnTaisce) December 3, 2020
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However, An Taisce claimed the height and the scale of the proposed hotel was excessive and would have a negative impact on the local streetscape.
The developer said the new hotel would “offer a significant opportunity for increased expenditure, economic development and job creation in the city.” It claimed the decision to provide zero parking was designed to encourage the use of sustainable transport modes.
A ruling by An Bord Pleanála on the appeal is due by the end of April 2021.