ANY potential demolishment of the former Sextant bar on Albert Quay will have to be assessed in compliance with planning regulations, Cork City Council has said.
Plans are in place for a 201-apartment, 25 storey tower block on the site but conservation of historical buildings has been thrown into focus after a heritage listed building partially collapsed on North Main Street last month.
City Hall director of strategic and economic development, Fearghal Reidy, has said proposals for an apartment tower will be “fully assessed” by authorities before any demolition is sanctioned. The building is included by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. Mr Reidy was responding to a query from Green Party councillor Oliver Moran, who said the local authority is working with the owners of three derelict properties on North Main Street to safeguard their heritage status but its Twitter account had been supportive of plans for the Sextant site which will see the building demolished.
John Cleary Development proposals are for a large-scale residential build-to-rent apartment scheme on the site at the entrance to the Docklands, extending from Albert Road along Albert Street, fronting Albert Quay.
Mr Reidy said this is subject to planning procedures that only allow for a structure with distinctive character to be demolished if replaced by a building that enhances the structure more than the retention of the original building.
“The Cork City Development Plan 2015-21 state that demolition of buildings in an architectural conservation area will only be granted in exceptional circumstances,” said Mr Reidy. “Development proposals for Carey’s Tool Hire and the Sextant will have to go through a planning application process where all aspects of the proposals will be fully assessed, either by Cork City Council of An Bord Pleanála, as appropriate as is the case for Strategic Housing Developments.”