Fri, 10 Dec, 2021 – 13:56
A proposed residential development on a long-term vacant site in the centre of Douglas has been rejected by Cork City Council, despite widespread support for the project in the local community.
Sirio Investment Management Ltd had sought planning for the demolition of two existing on-site buildings and associated structures at East Douglas Street and East Douglas Village.
In their place, 65 apartments, 45 of which would have been build-to-rent, were to be constructed, along with four new commercial units for retail use.
However, Cork City Council rejected the proposal on the basis that the development would be “out of character with the pattern of existing development and would be visually obtrusive within the Douglas village streetscape and the Church Street Architectural Conservation Area”.
Several of those who wrote to the council expressing support for the plan said it would rejuvenate a site in a prime location, which has now been vacant for several years.
Some went as far as describing the site in its current state as an “eyesore”, “wart” and “blot” on the Douglas streetscape.
Residents and business owners alike also noted the development would provide much-needed housing for the area.
However, the council found the proposed residential density for the application – about 260 units per hectare – to be “excessive”.
In its decision, the council noted the application did not meet objectives set out in the Ballincollig/ Carrigaline municipal district local area plan of 2017, particularly the requirement for the provision of “a comprehensive mixed-use development with active ground-floor uses and a high-quality public realm on the overall lands”.
“It is considered that the proposed absence of a coherent masterplan for the entire block, poor quality of urban design, including inappropriate building heights, would constitute piecemeal development,” the council said.
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