Green light for €100m redevelopment of one of Ireland's oldest shopping centres
A PROPOSED €100m redevelopment of one of Ireland's oldest shopping centres has been given the green light.
An Bórd Pleanála (ABP) approved the massive redevelopment of the Wilton Shopping Centre after the granting of planning permission by Cork City Council last year had been appealed by a local residents group and others.
A total of 22 conditions have been imposed on the redevelopment project - many in respect of traffic management at the complex which
is located directly across the road from Cork University Hospital (CUH).
The conditions were imposed following a detailed environmental impact study of the project.
Wilton Road Residents Association (WRRA) and others had appealed the decision by Cork City Council to approve the project.
They claimed it would have an adverse impact on the area which was already heavily congested.
However, ABP ruled that, in overall terms, the project would make a positive contribution to both Wilton and the entire Cork city area.
The extensive redevelopment will involve the partial demolition of the existing complex and the construction of a 870 bay multi-storey car
park, multi-screen cinema complex and a 190 bedroom hotel.
The expanded shopping centre will extend to between two and seven storeys in height - with anchor tenants Tesco and Penneys.
Also include in the blueprint is a cafe and restaurant and a special plaza.
The project also involves around 4,400 square metres in office space.
ABP addressed congestion concerns by insisting that the development includes an internal roadway between the multi-storey car park and a shopping centre exit.
The board also found that, in its design and aims, the project complies with the existing Cork City Development Plan.
The current shopping centre - which opened in 1979 - has around 60 shops and employs more than 500 people.
It was the focus of a major expansion in the early 2000s largely focused on its Tesco outlet.
Wilton has ranked for over three decades as one of the most successful shopping centres outside Dublin.