Plans for Ireland’s tallest building given green light in Cork

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead to planning for what will be Ireland’s tallest building.

Plans for Ireland’s tallest building have been given the green light in Cork.

The €140m development planned for Cork’s Custom House Quay in the city centre was granted permission this week subject to 23 conditions.

The project received the green light from Cork City Council last October but had since been subject to several appeals by some parties about the tower’s visual impact and how the project might impact the historic buildings on the Custom House site.

Following these appeals, An Bord Pleanála said the project would have several positive cultural impacts on the city and plans for Ireland’s tallest building have been given the green light.

What to expect – an exciting project

Plans for Ireland's Tallest Building.
Credit: Tower Holdings Group

The planned development by New York-based Tower Holdings Group on the former Port of Cork site will see a 34-story hotel tower above the city.

The tower is to include a 240 bed-hotel, including 25 services suites, a leisure centre, bar, restaurant, offices, and retail space.

The building will also include brand new tourist sites, including a heritage centre and distillery.

The decision to give the ambitious project the go-ahead comes days after an announced €353m investment in the city’s docklands to help drive future development.

The 21-page decision by An Bord Pleanála cites several factors for giving Ireland’s tallest building the green light, such as developing the Cork region as a counterforce to Dublin.

Ireland’s tallest building – reaching to the sky

Ireland's tallest building planned for Cork.
Credit: Tower Holdings Group

The tower will stand at an impressive 140 m (459 ft) in height, towering above Ireland’s current tallest building, the Obel Tower in Belfast, which stands at an elevation of 88 m (288 ft).

A spokesperson from Tower Holdings Group said the plans for Ireland’s tallest building was a vote of confidence in Cork and Ireland’s post-Covid future,

“We are delighted with this decision from Cork City Council and look forward to the final grant.

“We engaged closely with Cork City Council throughout the design process to ensure we satisfied all their requirements, particularly in relation to the conservation and integration approach towards the existing historical buildings.

“We have to now fully examine all the planning conditions and certain points of detail to establish their effect on the scheme. Brighter times lie ahead for Cork, and this development will lie at the very heart of them.”

Exciting plans for the city – brighter times ahead

Custom House Quay in Cork.
Credit: Flickr / William Murphy

At a time when the tourism and hospitality industries across Ireland are at an all-time low after a devastating year of lockdowns and stay at home measures, plans for Ireland’s tallest building provide hope of better times to come for Cork.

Some of the highlights planned for the building include the incorporation of the historic Custom House, which is one of the city’s iconic maritime structures, and the inclusion of a sky-bar and restaurant where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the city.

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