THE €20 million skyscraper proposed just yards from Parnell Place bus station is facing delays after an appeal was lodged with An Bord Pleanála.
The latest appeal by heritage body An Taisce has led to sharp criticism from the construction sector, with claims that Cork’s economic growth is being thwarted by “serial objections”.
The appeal will take at least 18 weeks for An Bord Pleanála to decide.
Conor O’Connell, regional director for the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Southern Region, hit out at the delays to crucially important projects planned for Cork.
He said the impact is being felt at all levels.
“All of our members are reporting significant delays in securing permissions,” he said.
“The growth in the number of objections is very disappointing. Cork is aiming for a 50% growth in development in the coming years. Cork city is changing, it is happening. The city is going to experience significant growth and that is in terms of offices, retail and residential developments.
“We cannot allow this economic growth to be thwarted by serial objections.”
The 15-storey Prism office block, planned for a brownfield site in the heart of the city, is modelled after the world famous Flatiron in New York.
The glass-fronted triangular proposal, designed by Reddy Architecture + Urbanism, includes some 6,000 square metres of office space.
In early October, planners at City Hall gave the go-ahead to the project. It followed several other major permissions, including Penrose Dock and Horgan’s Quay.
The developers had signalled their intention to start construction as soon as possible, once planning was approved.
However, An Bord Pleanála confirmed to the Evening Echo that an appeal from An Taisce landed just hours before the deadline was due to close, prompting a delay in the process.
An Taisce had previously raised concerns about the height of the planned building.
“While supportive of continued regeneration of the city centre, we strongly object to a 15-storey building on Clontarf Street,” An Taisce said in their objection to the initial planning application.
“The building will significantly alter the vista from Morrison’s Island of the former Cork Savings Bank, one of its finest Georgian-era building and seriously compromise the downriver vistas from this location.
The appeal is the latest in a series of appeals lodged by An Taisce in relation to major developments in Cork.