An Bórd Pleanála has approved plans for the first apartment complex on Cork’s north docks as part of a wider €160m regeneration scheme.
Building work could start early next year on the 302-unit scheme facing Horgan’s Quay and Railway Street, which will be delivered as part of the HQ Horgan's Quay joint-venture project involving BAM and Clarendon Properties, which includes a 136-bed hotel and some 400,000sq ft of office space.
Work on what will become The Dean Hotel Cork, overlooking the city’s train station, and the office element, overlooking the river Lee, is well advanced.
It is hoped that the hotel, which will feature a rooftop restaurant and bar, could be open before the end of next year.
As part of their original planning HQ application to Cork City Council, HQ Developments secured planning for 216 apartments in the resident element.
But they sought to increase this number to 302 residential units, along with ground-floor retail and a creche.
They lodged an application through Bórd Pleanála’s fast-track Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process in August.
The Bórd, which aims to reach a decision on SHD applications within 16-weeks, confirmed the planning approval yesterday.
In its decision, the Bórd said the proposed development would constitute an acceptable residential density in this urban regeneration area, would not seriously injure the visual amenity of the area, and would be acceptable in terms of urban design, height and quantum of development, and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety.
The decision clears the way for the construction of 108 one-bedroom apartments and 194 two-bedroom apartments, in apartment blocks ranging in height from seven to 11 storeys, around an open courtyard where the former Station Master’s building will be restored to become an amenity centre for apartment residents.
It will also include 311 on-site bike storage stands.
BAM Ireland’s chief executive, Theo Cullinane, welcomed the Bórd’s decision.
“We realise the need for new apartments in the city and we hope to get on site as quickly as possible to get this development delivered. The overall scheme will lead to a complete transformation and regeneration of this part of the city,” he said.
The apartments will be delivered on a 0.6-hectare slice of the site, located on the city-side of the office element, which is being built next to the city’s Kent train station.
The site is close to the city's bus station and is within 500-metres of the retail heart of the city centre.
Earlier this month, the JCD Group lodged a planning application directly with An Bórd Pleanála, again through the SHD process, for a soaring €90m 201-apartment build-to-rent residential scheme, with a landmark 25-storey tower, on the former Sextant pub site, on the city’s southern docks.
:: This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner