Objections lodged against Limerick's €40m riverside office plan

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick €40m riverside office plan put on hold after objections

Kirkland's riverside office plan has drawn a number of objections Picture: Healy Partners

THE developers behind a massive €40m skyscraper on Limerick's riverside say they will furnish the local authority with information about the development in order to "minimise any possible delays".

The council has asked for additional information about the project following a number of submissions from two local businesses and the Irish Georgian Society.

Rudi Butler, the son of former high-profile developer Robert Butler, is seeking to construct a 15-storey building at Bishop’s Quay.

The development – which could bring hundreds of jobs – will include 42 luxury apartments, plus new cafes and restaurants, with several floors of office space.

However, the council has requested further information from the developer.

A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said that it was normal procedure, especially in a project of this scale, to request additional information and that the project was "proceeding along normal lines".

A spokesman for Kirkland also stressed that it was happy to co-operate with the Council in giving the additional information sought.

"We are trying to get this information to them as quickly as possible, to minimise any possible delays," he stated.

Seven objections were received with regard to the scheme, notably from the Irish Georgian Society, Tom Moloney of Squire McGuire’s pub, plus Ann and John Conway of the neighbouring US Bargain Stores.

A number of residents local to the area have also objected.

In a letter to the council, Mr and Mrs Conway say the construction would “totally inhibit our natural light”.

And, with the building work expected to take a year or more, they add this will prove “detrimental” to their well-established firm.

A consultant working for Mr Moloney states he has “serious concerns” about the application, stating they are not in accordance with the Limerick 2030 strategy.

If it goes ahead, he claims it “would seriously damage the vitality and viability” of the section of Lower Cecil Street west of Henry Street. And he also believes not enough attention has been given to the historical context of the site.

These concerns are reflected by Donogh Cahill of the Irish Georgian Society.

He says not enough consideration has been given to the historic buildings of The Bishop’s Palace (constructed 1775) and the former coach house at number 105 Henry Street which would be renovated under these plans.

“The Irish Georgian Society is of the view the [15-storey] structure would have a significant detrimental impact on the character and setting of the two 18th century buildings,” Mr Cahill said.

Mr Cahill said the tower would have a “negative effect” on the architectural integrity of both buildings, with the Bishop’s Palace not a protected structure.

But the owner of the former coach house is “very favourable” to the plan.

Writing through a consulting engineer, they expressed concern over the impact construction work will have on commercial operations in the building.

They have asked council to seek details of construction details from Mr Butler, who says he hopes to have workers on site in January.