LORD Mayor Cllr Mick Finn described the revised application for planning permission as ‘hugely important and promising’ but warned that all moving parts in this process will still have to be kept well oiled in order for the long-awaited events centre to be delivered.
An amended planning application was submitted yesterday by developers BAM.
If approved, it allows for a slight increase in height — approximately 300mm higher than the previous design — as well as some 2,100 sq m of office space to serve as logistical and management support to the events centre.
The need for an amended application was first noted by City Hall officials as far back as February of this year, while BAM CEO Theo Cullinane confirmed that it would be needed in May.
The changes allow for a more dynamic centre, one which allows for multiple uses, including concerts and conferences, but also more elaborate stage productions such as Cirque De Soleil.
Mr Finn welcomed the progress.
“This is a massive, transformative project for Cork and will catapult the city to new heights in the region, nationally and indeed globally: these are the heights the city is aiming and planning for and so the revised planning application is welcome,” he said.
“I met with the developers and viewed the plans which promise an even better facility than was first imagined. It looks more spectacular. The proposals, which now encapsulate everything required by the operators Live Nation, will mean Cork will have the most dynamic such centre anywhere in the world capable of multi-configurations and uses. I was given a detailed walk-through and am very excited about what this project can do for the city.”
The developers are still awaiting the final decision on an application for additional funding from the State. The Department of Public Expenditure is understood to be close to finalising a robust assessment of this application and making a final ruling.
Mr Finn added: “The wheels have to move in sync on this and I am calling on council, BAM and Live Nation and the government — through Tánaiste Simon Coveney — to continue to work closely and efficiently to a realisable schedule and get this done.”