City Hall and Bam in a row over the events centre bridge

City Hall and Bam in a row over the events centre bridge
Artist impression of the Event Centre and the bridges that give access. Picture: G-Net 3D

A ROW has developed between event centre developer Bam and Cork City Council over who should pay costs toward a new pedestrian bridge.

A planning condition attached to permission granted for the revised plans for the event centre includes development contributions of €1.68 million — roughly 25% of total costs — to be paid for two bridges needed to service the site and connect to Crosse’s Green and French’s Quay.

However, Bam has appealed this condition to An Bord Pleanála. They said the Crosse’s Green pedestrian and cycle bridge has long been part of the city council’s development plan. They have not queried the development contributions for the pedestrian crossing to French’s Quay.

However, City Hall planners have argued in their response that the development contributions were built into a previous planning application from 2011 and a new city development plan has been devised since.

The council response said: “An Bord Pleanála will be aware that planning permission was granted on December 23, 2011, for a major mixed-use development — including an event centre — on the larger development site at the former Beamish and Crawford site at South Main Street, Crosse’s Green and French’s Quay, Cork.

“The description of this development included the construction of two pedestrian bridges across the south channel of the River Lee linking the brewery site to Crosse’s Green and French’s Quay/Proby’s Quay.”

City Hall planners also noted that the city development plan states that Cork City Council “will work closely” with key agencies and private developers to help realise these projects as “speedily as possible” and that the current city development plan was written after the original application for the event centre was granted permission.

The response further states: “The matter has been clear since the granting of the governing permission that these bridges and associated public realm improvement works would be subject to special development contributions.

“Attaching a special contribution condition is consistent with the approach taken by An Bord Pleanála.”

Meanwhile, a third party appeal asking for a heritage centre to be established on the event centre site has been dismissed by City Hall planners.

The appellant claims 11th-century Viking homes will be covered over on the former Beamish and Crawford site for a “state of the art” development that will be “obsolete” in 30 years.

The appellant wants a “Cork events and heritage centre” to be developed to acknowledge excavations and discoveries of Viking era artefacts at Crosse’s Green and has encouraged planners to follow the example of the Viking Triangle in Waterford.

City Hall responded: “The Board are advised that archaeological finds from excavations on the site are currently on display in partnership with the developer at Cork Public Museum. Further, under Cork City Council register ... provision is made for a cultural space, interpretive space on the ground floor which will be used to display historical archaeological information.”

The appeals will now be considered by the Board.

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