Cork City Council have refused planning permission for a proposed housing development on the northside of the city which would have included the demolition of a former boxing clubhouse.
Back in March applicant, Mike Houlihane had lodged an application seeking permission for "the demolition of a derelict property, formerly a boxing clubhouse, and permission for the construction of three houses" at a site address of 11,12, 13 Straw Hall, Gerald Griffin Street.
The clubhouse was previously used by the well-known Sunnyside Boxing Club which over the years has produced top boxers including Kieran Joyce who represented Ireland at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, Paul Buttimer, who fought for Ireland at the 1992 Olympics, and Michael Roche, who fought at the 2000 Olympics.
Thepreviously reported that it is understood the property was built by local residents on commonage in the 1920s and was used initially as a community centre, before locals gave permission to a local drag hunt club to use it.
They later shared it with Sunnyside.
Over the years the property fell into disrepair and Sunnyside Boxing Club had to find an alternative training venue.
Following the submission of the planning application, Cork City Council requested further information from the applicant surrounding the proposals.
Council planners highlighted some concerns including that the proposed development could potentially give rise to undue impact upon access to light to homes to the north of the site.
Given the location of the site within an Architectural Conservation Area the applicant was also requested to submit revised plans to show a reduction in the scale of the proposed dwellings to one-and-a-half-storey houses.
“It may be necessary to reduce the number of houses to achieve satisfactory internal and external space which must continue to meet the floor area and room width standards as set out in the Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities 2007,” the council stated.
Amended plans were submitted to the council in an attempt to address these and other concerns raised.
Under the revised proposals, the units were reduced in height from an original proposed height of 7.875m to 7.20m over floor level.
The proposed floor level was also reduced from the original proposed floor level.
Other amendments were also made to the original proposal, including modifications to the site layout to remove the car parking spaces from the Eastern side of the proposal - which the council had requested.
In a document outlining these proposed changes, it states that the applicant was “anxious to keep the proposal at three units as originally planned to ensure the financial viability of the project”.
The council has ultimately decided to reject the proposed development.
In its reasoning, the council stated that the proposed development by reason of its form and detail is “visually intrusive and would detract from the built character of the area” and would therefore “erode the architectural character of the area”.
It was also stated that the applicant had not demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority that the proposed development would not have undue impact on the light reaching existing residents in the vicinity of the subject site.
This was one of the concerns highlighted by a local resident who objected to the development.
The objection was supported by a petition from the residents in the area of Straw Hill which had over 40 signatures.