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Wilton Shopping Centre. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Wilton Shopping Centre. Picture: Denis Minihane.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Developers unveil big plans for Wilton centre

THE developers behind a €100 million redevelopment of Wilton Shopping Centre have told a public meeting that they plan to cater for increased traffic volumes with a seven-storey car park and a new entrance from the Sarsfield Road.

The project will include a significant expansion of Penneys, a 14-screen cinema and a 190-bed hotel.

Traders and members of the public were briefed last night about the massive redevelopment, which will make the shopping centre one of the biggest in Munster.

Local residents raised concerns about chronic congestion on the Bishopstown Road, which already suffers from heavy traffic volumes linked to Cork University Hospital.

Architect Turlough Clancy, working on behalf of Clarendon Properties, said the issue was being addressed.

 Pádraig Dineen and RachelBanaghan of Bits ’N’ Bobs, with Emmet Murray of Henry J Lyons Architects (left), at the public meeting about Wilton Shopping Centre. Picture:David Keane

Pádraig Dineen and Rachel
Banaghan of Bits ’N’ Bobs, with Emmet Murray of Henry J Lyons Architects (left), at the public meeting about Wilton Shopping Centre. Picture:
David Keane

“The bulk of the traffic will be on Sarsfield Road. We realise there is an issue with traffic and what we are offering is a new entrance on Sarsfield Road, directly into the multi-storey,” Mr Clancy said.

“Overall there will be 1,700 car parking spaces available when completed. The idea is to take traffic off the Bishopstown Road.”

There were also concerns among traders that Penneys would close during the works.

The existing Penneys unit will be demolished to facilitate the expansion plans but it was revealed last night that it will be housed in a temporary unit while works are ongoing.

Architect Emmett Murphy said that the retail giant was keen to expand.

“They are adamant that they want to go ahead with something new. It is in line with their expansion plans at home and abroad,” he said.

Wilton Traders Association spokesman Tony McCarthy had mixed feelings about the project, saying:

“It looks like they are sticking a new shopping centre onto the side of the old one. Nothing is being done to the old one, there is no upgrading included in the plans.

“It already looks dated, it is going to look even worse. It could do with being modernised. It is going to look shabby next to the new development.”

“If it is done right, it has potential. Wilton could do with being brought up to date. We have no issue with the cinema and we are not against the hotel, we just don’t want to be forgotten. There needs to be sympathy for the existing traders.”