County councillors in Mallow have welcomed the decision to delist the long-derelict former Central Hotel.
They have now expressed their hopes that the site can now be developed.
The town centre site has been vacant since the former hotel closed its doors in 2007, and it has suffered five fires in the years since, becoming increasingly more dilapidated and dangerous.
The building’s status as a listed building had meant that despite the damage caused by the fires, it could not be demolished, and the decision to delist the building has now removed that obstacle to future development.
The proposal to delist the former hotel was raised last Friday in County Hall by Fianna Fáil councillor Pat Hayes at a meeting to discuss Cork County Council’s draft development plan, and councillors gave unanimous support to the move.
Describing the decision as “a huge move for Mallow, and a very positive development for the town”, councillor Hayes told Monday’s meeting of the Kanturk/ Mallow Municipal District that the work of council workers and of his fellow councillors in getting the building delisted would be of great benefit to the area.
“This is a crucially important site and it is vitally important that a new development there will enhance its architectural value to Mallow,” he said.
The former Central Hotel site had been purchased earlier this year for an undisclosed sum by local property developer Pat Shine.
It is believed that he had put proposed development plans to Cork County Council, with the intention of lodging a planning application in the New Year.
It is understood that Mr Shine’s plans include a proposal for the site to include a hotel with a rooftop restaurant looking out over Mallow Town Park, as well as a number of groundfloor retail units facing out onto Davis Street.
Fine Gael councillor Tony O’Shea said that it had been imperative that the building be delisted to allow for the redevelopment of the site.
“This building has been an eyesore in the middle of Mallow Town for many years, and has been burnt and damaged over this period with now only a shell of the former building remaining,” he said.
Fianna Fáil councillor Gearóid Murphy said that while it may have been desired by some people that the existing building be allowed to remain in place, its damaged and dangerous condition had meant that demolition was the only viable option.