Planning green light for Queen’s Old Castle revamp

The plans include the conservation, refurbishment, alteration and change of use of the existing structure, including the partial demolition of the building
Planning green light for Queen’s Old Castle revamp

Computer-generated image of the planned retail and office development at Cork's Queen's Old Castle site. Image: Model Works

Planning permission has been granted for a major renovation of the landmark Queen's Old Castle building in Cork’s city centre.

The owners of the building Clarendon Properties through City Properties (Cork) Ltd had applied for permission for works on the building at 84 to 89 Grand Parade, formerly home to an Argos and Virgin Megastore.

The site currently houses a Dealz shop, as well as several smaller retail units, and previously operated as a department store.

The plans include the conservation, refurbishment, alteration and change of use of the existing structure, including the partial demolition of the building.

This is to allow for the construction of a mixed-use office and retail development, primarily accessed from Grand Parade but also with access from St Augustine Street.

Computer-generated image of the planned retail and office development at Cork's Queen's Old Castle site. Picture: Model Works
Computer-generated image of the planned retail and office development at Cork's Queen's Old Castle site. Picture: Model Works

The new structure would include office blocks part three, four, six and seven storeys, totalling over 104,000sq ft (9,662sq m) in floor space, as well as a 1,318 sq ft of retail space.

A previous plan to redevelop the building for retail and office space was approved in 2020. This proposal included about 36,000sq ft of office space.

The Queen's Old Castle department store was built in the 1840s. It closed in 1978 and was briefly occupied by a Penneys store before it was redeveloped as a shopping centre in 1980.

It was acquired by Clarendon which converted it into two large retail units.

In its application, Clarendon said: “The status quo of keeping the building as it is, is simply unacceptable and if maintained will lead to an extremely disappointing situation for Ireland’s second city for which there is a national-level aspiration to double in size in order to counterbalance the Dublin-centric approach to development.”

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