Planned redevelopment of Cork’s iconic Queen’s Old Castle site delayed

Planning notes for future Munster developments
Planned redevelopment of Cork’s iconic Queen’s Old Castle site delayed

The application includes the reconfiguration of the interior of the building to form two smaller retail shops fronting onto Grand Parade. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Queens Old Castle

The planned redevelopment of an iconic building in Cork city centre has been delayed.

Planners at Cork City Hall have requested further information on the planned refurbishment of the Queens Old Castle site, which was most recently occupied by Argos but has previously operated as a shopping mall and hotel.

City Properties (Cork) Limited has applied for permission to redevelop the site at 84-89 Grand Parade, Cork city, including the reconfiguration of the interior of the building to form two smaller retail shops fronting onto Grand Parade, and to change a large portion of the site into retail and co-working office space. In all, some 3382.9 sq m of office space was proposed.

However, planners have sought further information on a number of grounds.

This includes details about conservation - planners are of the opinion that the retail elements of the plan should "re-establish the original shopfront" by removing and reducing the height of the facade - as well as drainage and the environmental impact of the plan.

Questions are also raised about archaeology, including any potential impact of the design on the medieval city wall, which traverses the rear of the proposed retail units.

The developers have up to six months to submit the information.

Outdoor seating

A city-centre restaurant is seeking permission to erect awning at its premises.

Georges Labbad has submitted a request to Cork City Council for permission to erect an awning/canopy outside 11-12 Academy Street for outdoor seating.

The building is currently occupied by Umi Falafel.

Former Motorcycle store

A decision is due on a plan to revitalise a disused commercial building at the eastern end of Oliver Plunkett Street in the coming days.

LHC Investment Ltd has applied to Cork City Council for permission to convert a disused commercial building at the corner of Lower Oliver Plunkett Street and Connell Street. It was previously used for motorcycle sales and as Cork Community Print Shop.

The proposal is to revamp the building into a 'guest accommodation' facility with 19 bedrooms, numbering some 43 beds, and a café.

In its application, the developers state "guest accommodation represents an alternative form of accommodation rather than more conventional hotel/hostel model".

It responds to the niche "city sleepers" target market, which typically does not require the full range of services provided in standard hotels and "tend to pack light", they said.

The proposal would "assist in contributing to a wider variety of accommodation in the city centre". They say there are just seven budget accommodation options in Cork city centre, lower than other cities.

Developers say the scheme has been designed in line with Fáilte Ireland's 'welcome standard' guidelines, and note that the Windsor Inn on Cork's MacCurtain Street, is a precedent of developments adopting these guidelines.

Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific Ltd has been granted planning permission for a new administrative building of more than 3,200 sq m at its Model Farm Road base.

The site in the west of Cork city will see the development of a three-storey building, including a canteen, offices, meeting rooms and support areas.

The development will result in the relocation of 35 parking spaces and the addition of some 40 new ones, and Boston Scientific says the new building will "integrate with a number of existing structures on site".

The works will take place within the curtilage of the former Munster Institute, which is a protected structure.

Broad Lane apartments

A developer behind a proposed new apartment block in Blackpool on the north side of Cork city has appealed their plan to An Bord Pleanála.

Cork City Council rejected the application from Kieran O'Shea to demolish a derelict building at 11 Broad Lane, off Great William O'Brien Street, and to construct four apartments in its place.

Planners raised concerns about the "height, bulk and form" of the proposed new building, suggesting it would injure the amenities around the site and would "depreciate the value of property in the vicinity".

However, Mr O'Shea has appealed this decision, with An Bord Pleanála due to make a ruling by the end of the year.

Cashel homes

A development of 44 houses can now proceed at Spafield in Cashel after An Bord Pleanála overturned the decision of Tipperary County Council to reject the scheme. Stillwater Investment Ltd had been refused permission on the basis it had "an inadequate quantum of public open space, absence of housing mix and deficiencies in the road network and footpath." Council planners also said it would cause a traffic hazard.

However, An Bord Pleanála overturned this decision, insisting instead the development "would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area, and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety."

It has applied some 20 conditions to the scheme.

Newcastlewest homes

A development of some ten houses is now free to proceed in Newcastle West, Co Limerick after An Bord Pleanála approved the scheme.

Valerie Dimaulo had sought permission to build 10 houses at Rathnaneane, Newcastle West, though the development was appealed, with concerns raised about its impact on the existing residential amenity in the area, as well as traffic, density and pedestrian access.

Subject to some 12 conditions, An Bord Pleanála has approved the scheme, suggesting it "would not adversely impact on the residential amenities or the amenities of adjoining properties".

A bar at Kilbarry, Co Waterford is to be demolished and replaced by 45 apartments after An Bord Pleanála rejected an appeal against the plan.

Dalira Ltd can now proceed with its proposal to demolish Ryans Bar at Ballybeg Drive, Ballybeg, Kilbarry, Co Waterford, replacing it with a new building of two to four storeys, comprising 390 metres of retail spaces and 45 apartments.

The scheme was approved by An Bord Pleanála subject to 18 conditions.

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