Council motion for action on key city centre buildings

CORK City Council has been called on to secure Victoria Hotel and Moore's Hotel in a bid to provide much-needed accommodation in the city centre.

A motion will come before elected members this evening, calling for the local authority to acquire vacant sites in the city in a bid 'to provide accommodation for persons in need of some.'

The motion comes despite the owner of the Victoria Hotel submitting plans to revamp the historic city centre hotel in recent days for retail use.

If approved, the city centre hotel, which has frontage on Patrick St and Cook St, would be converted into a major retail unit in a bid to attract international high-end brands.

The motion, submitted by Cllr Tim Brosnan, will be discussed this evening in City Hall.

He said that it is designed to encourage owners to make actual progress with their property or hand it over to the City Council so that it could be used to house those who need it.

"Some of these owners are making lots of noise about plans but taking very little action," he said.

"People want to see progress on these sites, some of which have been vacant for a long, long time."

In addition to the Victoria Hotel, Mr Brosnan's motion refers to the derelict Moore's Hotel, which was acquired by Cork City Council under CPO following a partial collapse in 2016.

Mr Brosnan said that Moore's Hotel, Victoria Hotel and a number of other buildings could be very quickly repurposed to accommodate homeless people in the city centre.

"What is key here is the introduction of new legislation, effective from January 1, 2018, which will allow Cork City Council to enter vacant property on to the vacant sites register," he said.

While not as direct as acquiring sites under CPO, Mr Brosnan said that he expects the legislation to kick-start activity.

"We will see a fair bit of movement on many of these long-term vacant sites as a result, I expect," he said.

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