Mixed reaction to green light for massive Marquee site project 

Mixed reaction to green light for massive Marquee site project 

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy described the development as “soulless and windswept”.

There has been a mixed reaction to news that 1,000 residential units are set to be constructed at the location of the Live at the Marquee gigs in Cork.

The green light was given to Marina Quarter Limited by An Bord Pleanála for the development on the former Ford Distribution site fronting on to Centre Park Rd, Marquee Rd, and Monahan Rd, which includes the demolition of existing structures and construction of 1,002 apartments in 12 blocks ranging in height from four to 14 storeys.

A computer generated image of the proposed docklands apartments to the site of the old Ford distribution centre. Pic: Marina Quarter Limited. www.thesouthdocks.ie/
A computer generated image of the proposed docklands apartments to the site of the old Ford distribution centre. Pic: Marina Quarter Limited. www.thesouthdocks.ie/

The blocks will also include commercial and community facilities, including five retail units, a Montessori school, creche, medical centre, bar, café, venue and performance area, and two community resource spaces.

Pocket parks and urban spaces, reservation for a future Monahan Rd extension, and two pedestrian streets through the site linking Centre Park Rd and the Monahan Rd extension have also been granted permission. There are 39conditions attached to the grant of permission.

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy described the development as “soulless and windswept”. Meanwhile, Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill said he “would just be anxious that it gets built sooner rather than later.”

AN BORD PLEANÁLA considered that the proposed development would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenity of the area or of the property in the vicinity, would be acceptable in terms of residential amenity, and in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and convenience and would not be prejudicial to public health and concluded that the proposed development would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.

A computer generated image of the proposed docklands apartments. Picture: Marina Quarter Limited - thesouthdocks.ie
A computer generated image of the proposed docklands apartments. Picture: Marina Quarter Limited - thesouthdocks.ie

Among the conditions attached are that any archaeological material discovered be preserved, recorded, and protected; that 10% of the parking spaces must have electric vehicle charging facilities, and that public lighting is provided.

The board also requested that the colour of some of the metal in the structure be changed.

Councillor concerns 

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy said the green light for the development is “another example of An Bord Pleanála bypassing local councillors’ concerns and the concerns on the ground”.

He said that councillors had discussed their concerns with the Executive.

“We probably came up with 30 or 40 concerns as to why the site shouldn’t go ahead, and it’s clear now that those concerns have been ignored,” he said.

“The design is soulless and windswept. I have a lot of concerns about the design and that it would set a precedent for other architecture in the city,” he said.

He said such large developments need to have proper consultation whereby people “sit down with the local residents and come up with a better plan”.

Concern about when will be built 

Meanwhile, the development was welcomed by Fine Gael councillor Des Cahill who hopes that it will “materialise in the short number of years ahead of us”.

Mr Cahill said he was happy with the proposed development when it went through the first phase, but was later concerned about the proposed 10-year planning application.

“I would have been much happier if it was a five-year application because I don’t like the idea that potentially there might not be any places to live there for 12 years,” he said.

An Bord Pleanála’s inspector’s report found that planning permission of seven years would be “reasonable in the case of this large-scale development”.

“The development will deliver a significant number of residential units and achieve satisfactory levels of residential amenity. Having regard to the existing brownfield nature of the site, it is considered that the development will give rise to a positive change in the landscape character and visual amenities in the area,” the report stated.

“In this regard, the development will be seen in conjunction with Marina Park, an important city side amenity.”

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