AN TAISCE has defended their opposition to The Prism office development in Cork saying the building will have a “major adverse impact” on the historic city centre of Cork.
An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for the €20m, 15-storey office building on Clontarf Street.
Construction is set to begin in the coming months and the Prism building will create more than 100 jobs during development and a multiple of this figure over the next 18 months once it is occupied.
The planning application had been opposed by the heritage body An Taisce which objected to the development on a number of grounds, including the height of the building.
“A structure of this kind will be the dominant feature on the east of the island when viewed from many parts of the wider city,” they argued.
However, An Bord Pleanála said the Prism would make a “positive contribution to the urban character of the area” and would “enhance the skyline of the area”.
In the aftermath of the decision, An Taisce said it was “extremely disappointed”.
“This building will have a major adverse impact on the historic city centre of Cork which we feel can be redeveloped with quality contemporary architecture without resorting to tall buildings, more appropriate to the downriver docklands setting,” it said.
“Indeed, An Taisce has been broadly supportive of a number of new office developments east of the city centre.
“Speculative office development is a feature of our current economic cycle, but it must be inserted into quality historic cityscapes in an appropriate way, so as not to damage their tourist potential and quality of life.”
An Taisce said the 2018 revised building height guidelines introduced by the minister for housing are a major backward step in proper planning in cities and towns and need to be amended to be more site-specific.