Science Park builders will have to fund road

Science Park builders will have to fund road
A computer generated image of the planned new new Curraheen office block that will replace the former FAI grounds.

DEVELOPERS planning to demolish the former Cork City soccer grounds at Curraheen to build a multi-million euro five-storey office building will have to pay more than €750,000 towards a new access road to CIT.

In November, Cork County Council granted permission for the project, which will form part of the Cork Science and Innovation Park.

The applicant, Soltaz Ltd, wants to demolish the existing stadium and the training ground to make way for an office building of four to five storeys, to be constructed in two phases, and a single-storey cafe/restaurant.

While granting permission, planners in County Hall imposed 11 conditions, including a special development contribution of €768,000. This contribution is on top of a regular development contribution of almost €840,000.

It is this condition that Soltaz appealed to An Bord Pleanála. In planning documents filed with the appeals body, the company argues the special development contribution rate of €45 per square metre threatens the viability of its development and would set a precedent that would threaten the entire science park project.

“The special contribution of €768,150, specified by Condition 22 will almost double development contributions for the project and has not been fully justified in the planning reports on file,” the appeal states, arguing the conditions should be deleted.

In their response Cork County Council argued for the condition to be kept, saying the money was needed to upgrade the Curraheen Interchange.

Having examined the case, the planning inspector for An Bord Pleanála recommended that the condition be dropped however that recommendation was overturned by the board who said the contribution was reasonable and proportionate.

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