Green Party calls for scrapping of €100-million plan for Port of Cork site

Spokesman claims proposal for 40-storey skyscraper on Lapps Island is ‘ludicrous’

The Green Party in Cork has come out in support of a campaign by a local artist to block plans by an Irish-American developer for Ireland's tallest skyscraper in a €100-million-plus development of the city's historic Port of Cork site.

Green Party Cork North Central spokesman, Oliver Moran said the party fully backed the campaign by artist John Adams who has already received more than 1,000 signatures on a petition calling for the proposed development on the Port of Cork site to be scrapped.

"The idea of a 40-storey skyscraper at the head of Lapp's Island is ludicrous. It has all of the airs of a vanity project that the city will end up regretting in a very short time," said Mr Moran, adding the Greens were opposed to the development of a hotel and office complex on the site.

“The Custom House and historic bonded warehouses, which were built between 1810 and 1820, should be taken into public ownership and the site developed as a river amenity and retail centre as part of the docklands redevelopment.

“Our focus should be on redeveloping the docklands north of Centre Park Road and around the train station in a way that will have a true impact on the city’s future. That’s where the future of city living in Cork lies, with good public transport links, like a Cork Luas or a Bus Rapid Transit system.”

It was revealed last April that Irish-American developer, Kevin O'Sullivan, who owns Times Square Construction, had, along with brother Donal, bought the three-acre, wedge-shaped site at the confluence of both the north and south channels of the River Lee for a reported €5 million.

It’s understood Mr O’Sullivan plans to develop the site as a luxury hotel and office complex that would include a 40-storey tower block at the eastern end of the site - more then twice the height of Cork’s current tallest building, the 17-storey Elysian Tower.

Last October, Mr O'Sullivan, a native of Ballinskelligs in Co Kerry, who emigrated to the United States in 1986, told the Irish Examiner that his team was finalising the design of the project to ensure that it met all local and national planning regulations and requirements.

Mr Moran said: “What this proposal shows is the urgency of taking the Custom House and bonded warehouses into public ownership before someone does something to the city that we will never forgive them for. We should see this site as a social and community hub for the future of the docklands.

“What we’d like to see is a river amenity centre, with moorings and training facilities, as well as a retail and cultural centre. But that can’t happen if the site is taken over by a garish skyscraper that belongs in another part of the docklands away from a building of national significance like this.”