Friday 5 August 2011

Planning for Beamish site faces appeal

A CONSERVATION group plans to appeal a decision to grant conditional planning permission to transform a former brewery site in Cork city into a multi-million euro events centre.

Dutch-based Bam Group last week received planning approval from Cork City Council for a €150m development at the Beamish and Crawford site on South Main Street.

Its Irish subsidiary, Bam Contractors, along with Heineken Ireland, plan to develop a 6,000-seater centre that would also include retail outlets, apartments, a viewing tower and two pedestrian bridges across the River Lee.

There are 20 conditions attached to the granting of conditional planning, that include height restrictions and a €2.82m payment towards works the council will have to carry out.

The approval of planning on the site was welcomed by the Cork Business Association, Heineken Ireland and others.

However, National Conservation and Heritage Group chairman Damien Cassidy said the group’s submissions had been ignored and the granting of planning permission was a slap in the face for individuals who cared about Cork’s heritage.

"I understand that people are anxious to do anything that would improve the economy, but there are so many sites on Cork’s docklands which would be far more suitable. The brewery site is totally unsuitable.

"This area has historically been used for brewing, dating back to Celtic times. It is the oldest brewery in the country."

Mr Cassidy said the group plans to submit its appeal in the next few weeks and, in the event of failure at Bord Pleanála level, will bring a case to Europe.

Heineken Ireland completed the takeover of Beamish and Crawford in 2009. The brewery later closed with the loss of 120 jobs. The former counting house is a protected structure and conservation groups had hoped the site would be turned into a museum/visitor centre.

Irish Examiner

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