Application to open coffee shop on iconic Cork city centre location

Cork City Council should decide within days whether to permit a café to be developed on a busy city centre corner.

Robin Power applied for the change of use from office to café on the ground and first floors of St Patrick’s Buildings, at the junction of St Patrick’s Street and Grand Parade.

The location has previously been in use by financial services, and is situated near what will be two entrances to the John Cleary major redevelopment of the Capitol Cinema site in a major city centre mixed retail and office scheme.

St Patrick’s Buildings was vacant at the time the plans were lodged with Cork City Council in September last.

The application cited expressions of interest in operating the premises as a café and for retailing beverages. The plan is to develop a serving area at the small 22 square metre ground floor, with first-floor seating where excellent street views might be enjoyed by customers. Although no tenants are in place, a chain outlet is considered a likely operator if permission is granted.

The council asked for further information on issues around waste management, signage and other aspects which were responded to on behalf of Mr Power before Christmas, and a decision is now due by the weekend.

* A new Vision Express store on St Patrick’s Street is one of two planned new opticians’ chains awaiting the outcome of Cork city centre planning applications this week.

Plans lodged with Cork City Council in November by Paul Litchfield sought to re-fit an existing retail unit, previously a fashion store, and for new signage to 38 St Patrick’s Street, between Marlboro Street and Cook Street. The decision on that planning application was due yesterday.

Next week is the due date for a decision on plans submitted also in November by Specsavers Optical Superstores Ltd for a unit at nearby Opera Lane. The chain which already has a presence on Cook Street sought permission for a new shop front signage to Unit 2 of the street between St Patrick’s Street and Emmet Place.

* Permission has been turned down for almost 60 new homes previously approved by a Dublin planning authority.

South Dublin County council gave the go-ahead last summer on plans submitted in early 2015 by Crekav Landbank Investments Ltd for a site at Lock Road and Newcastle Road in Finnstown. The area is near Lucan, and also near the new suburb of Adamstown, and the company initially sought permission for 74 terraced, detached, and semi-detached homes. The council gave its approval for 58 of those houses, prompting third party appeals, as well as an appeal by the company on the partial approval and in relation to conditions.

In its decision to refuse permission for the development, An Bord Pleanála cited the lack of an appropriate mix of house types and sizes, lack of permeability for pedestrians and cyclists, and poor layout and design.

* Cork County Council has cleared the way for an extension to a GE Healthcare facility in Carrigtwohill.

The plant at the IDA business park outside the small east Cork town was the subject of an application last November, in which permission was sought for a two-floor, 1,300 square metre innovation extension. The plans also included the demolition of a canteen and a utilities store, as well as access road changes.

* An early February decision is expected on the proposed development of retail warehousing at the nearby Fota Retail and Business Park.

In response to a request from planners for further information, details were submitted to Cork County Council just over a fortnight ago. They relate to an application last August for a single-storey building with eight retail warehouse units, one with linked outside sales/display area.

Fota Business Park also sought permission for 15 enterprise/trade/business units with offices overhead, and proposed linking the facility to a new commuter rail station, for which previous planning approval was extended almost a year ago.


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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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