Developers ask Cork planners to reconsider a request to cut parking spaces and a floor from their office development 

Developers ask Cork planners to reconsider a request to cut parking spaces and a floor from their office development 
A computer-generated image showing the planned office development from Karamex on the left and the seperate Penrose Dock development on the right which has already been granted planning permission and is under construction.

Developers planning a new office block in Cork city have asked planners to reconsider their request to cut one of the floors and slash the number of parking spaces.

Twin office buildings, six storeys and seven storeys in height, are planned for Penrose Quay adjacent to the under-construction Penrose Dock development.

Bandon company Karamex Ltd is proposing the demolition of the existing red-brick buildings on the site currently occupied by Oxford International.

In their place, they propose the construction of a six-storey building facing Penrose Quay with a rooftop terrace and solar panels along with a seven-storey building facing on to Alfred Street with a ground-floor cafe.

The proposed development will include two basement levels for parking with a vehicular entrance from Alfred Street.

The office buildings are designed for single or multiple office users and will be targeted for general office, technology or educational users. 

In June, planners in City Hall asked Karamex to drop one floor from the building facing Alfred Street and also asked them to significantly reduce the 72 planned basement parking spaces.

The company responded last week supplying new drawings with the top floor omitted but asked City Hall to share their view that a reduction in the height of the building was "unwarranted and unnecessary".

"We would question the propriety of a reduction in the height of proposed Block 02 by one storey. It is our considered opinion that the current and emerging character of Alfred Street is that of an important pedestrian, high-frequency public transport, vehicular and, in particular, future BRT/LRT [Bus Rapid Transport/Light Rail Tranport] route between Kent Station and the City Centre."

Karamex also defended their plans for 72 parking spaces, which City Hall had asked them to reduce significantly given the public transport and cycle network.

"The proposed development will generate employment for up to 800 people. In this context, and in recognition of its sustainable location, the level of car parking proposed equates to just 1 space per 11 employees. The significant majority of future employees will, therefore, avail of sustainable modes of transportation, including walking, cycling and public transport," the developers said.

They also said the Penrose Dock offices next door has permission for 160 spaces. "The proposed development would be at a significantly competitive disadvantage were Cork City Council minded to grant permission with a reduced car parking provision," Karamex said.

A planning decision on the development is expected from City Hall planners is expected on October 8.

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