THE developers of the planned 15-storey Prism building have lodged a strong defence of their proposal following objections from the heritage body An Taisce.
The €20 million office building is to be built on the small triangular site at Clontarf Street next to Parnell Place bus station but is opposed by An Taisce on a number of grounds, including the height of the building.
However, the developers have issued a strong rebuttal saying An Taisce’s appeal was a “negative and incorrect” interpretation of planning policy in Cork.
Kerrymen Kevin and Donal O’Sullivan recently purchased the site on Clontarf Street that has remained unused for decades.
Tower Holdings Group, owned by Kevin O’Sullivan, will oversee the development of the proposed new office building.
The O’Sullivan brothers have also acquired the Port of Cork Customs House Quay site at the eastern end of the city centre island where they are planning another skyscraper.
Planners in City Hall had already granted permission for the development but this decision has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála by An Taisce.
Reddy Architects, who designed the building, said An Taisce are wrong in their negative assessment of this proposal.
“To state that a proposal has an adverse impact just because it is a tall building that breaks the city skyline and can be viewed from multiple prospects is simplistic and does not address the positive urban design merit of the proposal,” they said.
“This proposal is a deliberate attempt to fill an urban void in the centre of the east end of the city island with a tall, elegant, light-filled and transparent iconic piece of architecture that will signal the location of the burgeoning Cork city office district and to transition from the low lying city centre to the Docklands.
“An Taisce are of the view that no tall buildings should be allowed in the city centre island due to its unique 18th and 19th century character.”
“This restricted Clontart Street site is in an area devoid of such character on the eastern end of the city island outside the 18th and 19th century precincts west of Parnell Place and the An Taisce view of the locality does not relate to the reality of the actual environment for this proposed development, nor does it relate to the urban history of the location,” the architects said.