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A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Supporters and objectors of Ireland's tallest building make their case to Cork planners

A number of submissions both objecting to and supporting Ireland's tallest building proposal for Cork's Custom House Quay have been lodged with City Hall.

Heritage boy an Taisce said the Custom House Tower would "completely alter the integrity of the existing buildings and their setting."

The Irish Georgian Society said the demolition of sections of the revenue building on the site "could set a very worrying precedent for similar proposals."

However, business groups such as the Cork Chamber and the Cork Business Association both lodged submissions supporting the development.

Tower Holdings is proposing a 34-storey skyscraper hotel that would reach approximately 140m in height.

If approved and constructed, it would become the country’s tallest building by a significant margin, outstripping the current tallest building, the 79m-high Capital Dock in Dublin.

The €140m project will also include retail units, cultural spaces, food and beverage businesses, office space, recreational areas, and a micro-distillery, which the developer says could create up to 800 jobs.

A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
A CGI render of the planned Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
Below the hotel, the Bonded Warehouses will be occupied by a range of uses to complement the hotel including retail, restaurants, cafés, and gallery and cultural spaces, with a public promenade wrapping around the entire site.

The proposed distillery would be located at the tip of the site where the north and south channels of the river Lee meet.

In their objection, An Taisce said changes to the site would completely alter the integrity of the existing buildings and their setting. 

"The proposed use of this historic complex for a 250-bedroom hotel, and associated services is clearly inappropriate and constitutes gross overdevelopment of the site, apart altogether from the severe impact of a 35 storey building on the low lying character of Cork City," they said.

"We would suggest that a more appropriate cultural, social and heritage use should be found for this significant site and urge Cork City Council to reject this application."

The Irish Georgian Society said the development proposal does not present the "exceptional circumstances" required by legislation for the demolition of the Revenue Building, a protected structure. 

"Granting permission for its demolition on these grounds could set a very worrying precedent for similar proposals that could undermine the effectiveness of protected structure designations."

A CGI render of the planner Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
A CGI render of the planner Custom House Tower. Pic: Pedersen Focus
Residents living on Sidney Hill overlooking the city also lodged an objection saying the Custom House Tower will detrimentally alter the "natural and visual beauty of Cork's Lee Valley."

"The area where the river channels rejoin represent a traditional Cork setting which will be destroyed if a structure of the proposed dimension is built there."

However, the Cork Chamber business group said the development has their "strong support."

"Custom House Quay has been underutilised for several decades despite having the potential to greatly enhance and invigorate its surrounds."

The Cork Business Association said the development will provide the means to preserve and restore the site. 

"How many of the citizens of Cork have ever been inside the bonded warehouses or even have had access to the quay itself. This development will bring much-needed life activity and vibrancy to the area."