Tuesday 24 July 2007

Redevelopment of former convent gets green light

A MULTI-million conversion of a former convent to include a 155-seat underground cinema and conference centres, offices, shops, creche, community centre and 52 apartments is set to proceed following a vote taken by Cork county councillors yesterday.

Councillors voted unanimously to a Material Contravention of the County Development Plan (2003) to allow Irish & European Properties Ltd to redevelop the former Presentation Convent in Mitchelstown.

Prior to the vote they read an in-depth report issued by senior planner, Bob Gunkel, who said that in his opinion the project would provide the town with “a modern social, cultural and entertainment centre”.

Mr Gunkel added that the developers would retain the finest features of the building. Only one submission was received by the council with regard to the development and director of planning, John O’Neill, pointed out that it wasn’t actually an objection.

Cllr Liam O’Doherty (FG), who proposed the contravention, declared it as a win-win situation for Mitchelstown. “We’re getting facilities we never had in Mitchelstown before. It’s great to see somebody coming in from outside and developing this building.”

Cllr Deirdre Forde, a former pupil at the convent, said her one concern was that a lot of planning permissions had been granted in the town during the past few years which hadn’t yet reached construction.

Irish Examiner

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