More events centre delays confirmed as Tánaiste calls for 'cool heads'

More events centre delays confirmed as Tánaiste calls for 'cool heads'
An artist impression of the events centre

CONSTRUCTION firm BAM has been granted more time to supply important planning information on the long-awaited Cork Events Centre which will further delay the project.

The developer now has until July 3 to supply significant further details to address planners’ concerns.

Last August, BAM submitted a fresh planning application for the €80m South Main St project.

The amended application included an increase in height, as well as more than 2,000sq m of additional office space. In October, planners in City Hall wrote to BAM asking for significant further information on the project, including a specific proposed construction timeline.

Planners also raised concerns about the “extent of dead frontage” and the glass-fronted area on South Main St, noting that an alternative design would be more appropriate. Clarifications on the location of entrances, exits, service gates, and access points have also been sought.

BAM was given a six-month period to comply with the request, with an April 3 deadline.

The company did not reply until last week, when it wrote to Cork City Council seeking an extension.

This request has now been granted, with a new deadline of July 3 in place.

Under planning law, the city council will have four weeks to make a decision on the new application once the further information request is complied with.

If City Hall grants permission, its decision could be appealed to An Bord Pleanála which would delay the project even further.

It is the latest setback for the long-running saga, which has been bogged down in recent months by the legalities surrounding an increase of €10m in public funding for the project, taking the total public spend to €30m.

Speaking to The Echo yesterday, Tánaiste Simon Coveney said: “The easy thing to do when there are blockages or frustrations is to abandon a project. We haven’t done that.

“BAM is still absolutely committed to it, Live Nation is committed to it, Cork City Council is committed to it, the Government is committed to it across multiple departments.

“Let’s not turn this into a political football that becomes hugely negative, and then because of that negative cycle, we make finalising the arrangements for this project even more difficult. What we need now is some cool heads for the next couple of weeks to actually try to get the legals of this project clarified once and for all so we can move ahead with it.”

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