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    Cork City Council and Docklands watch



    This is in today's Examiner but unfortunately doesn't seem to be available in the Electronic edition.


    Synposis :


    Senior City Council planner, Anne Bogan said developing the park near Pairc Ui Chaoimh was vital to provide, the estimated 15,000 people who will live in the regenerated docklands and the 23,000 people who will work there, a quality public space.


    However, Pat Ledwidge, the director of the city's docklands directorate, said that "The Munster Agricultural Society, nor other occupiers, have the resources or the inclination to develop this land".


    Junior Counsel for the Council, said the M.A.S. breached the terms of its lease of the Showgrounds site. Producing Aerial photographs which showed a portion of its showjumping enclosure had been used as a storage site by National Vehicle Distribution and another small section by an unauthorised spray painting operation that had now ceased.


    However, David Holland SC representingthe MAS accused the council of frustrating his efforts to secure documents under the FOI Act relating to dicussions the Council may have had with "stakeholders" in the docklands region.


    "Information is coming to us on the grapevine", he said.


    He produced documents under the FOI which show that the secretary of the Cork GAA County Board, Frank Murphy, was in correspondence with City Manager Joe Gavin about GAA plans to build a hotel and a car park on the Showgrounds site as part of a possible Pairc Ui Chaoimh revamp.


    This is despite assertions by the Council yesterday, that NO discussions about the stadium revamp had taken place and that the rezoning of the Showgrounds site would have a presumption against development.


    Mr Holland said that it was impossible for hime to properly question council witnesses without access to all the documents.


    BUT, hearing chairman Mr Michael Ward of An Bord Pleanala, REFUSED his request to direct the council to produce such documents.


    There were several sharp exchanges between both men as Mr Holland accused Mr Ward of being too rigid.


    But Mr Ward insisted that he wanted the hearing to proceed and wanted to ensure the council officials presented all their evidence yesterday.


    He said Mr Holland would have ample time to question witnesses today.


    MEANWHILE, solicitor Kevin Nagle representing Ted O'Keefe will also attempt today to contest moves by the council to acquire 3 acres of land behind the Lee Rowing Club where cattle graze, as part of the CPO..


    Mr Nagle claimed that his client had not been properly informed about the issuing of the CPO and therefore had not been able to object before the deadline.


    he tried a number of times yesterday to raise his concerns but Mr Ward said he would hear arguments today.


    Mr Nagle claimed that Howard Holdings had verbally agreed with him to buy the site for €10m in April. But Howard Holdings pulled out of the deal SHORTLY BEFORE THE CPO WAS ISSUED, he said.


    The hearing heard that Mr Nagle had rejected an offer from the council of €90,000 per acre to buy out any interest his client may have in the site. the hearing continues today.

    #2


    Note 1 : Howard Holdings offered the use of an adjoining site to the Showgrounds site, rent free, to the concert promoters of Live at the Marquee, back in July. This denied the Showgrounds vital funds. City manager Joe Gavin denies asking Howard Holdings to provide the site in order to deny revenue to M.A.S.


    Note 2 : The information on the grapevine referred to is thought to be that


    - Gavin has agreed to sell the Showgrounds to the GAA for €4m euro, even though the 21.5 acre site could be easily worth €70-80m if re-zoned.


    - The GAA have been told that there will be no problem with rezoning to build the hotel and leisure centre.


    - Howard Holdings, as luck would have it, recently completed the building of the new Clarion hotel opposite City Hall, so have plenty of hotel building experience should they be called upon to help out.

    Comment


      #3


      This is the first piece of the report that you missed [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img].


      A MASSIVE public park with Cork’s Pairc Ui Chaoimh at its heart will help kickstart the multi-billion regeneration of the city’s docklands, an oral hearing heard yesterday.
      Senior city council officials said it was vital that an ambitious compulsory purchase order (CPO) is confirmed for five separate sites; totaling 10 hectares — the largest of which is the key Showgrounds site — to drive the flagship Marina park project forward.
      Bord Pleanila inspector, Michael Ward, heard detailed evidence from council officials yesterday on why they have issued what is the first CPO in the €2 billon docklands redevelopment strategy.
      The CPO is being vigorously contested by the Munster Agricultural Society (MAS), which leases the: 8.7 hectare Showgrounds site from the council, and CAB Motors.
      Pat Ledwidge, the director of the city’s docklands directorate, said council attempts to acquire the lands by agreement had failed.
      The current use of the Showgrounds land does not adhere to its public open space zoning and the council is best placed to ensure that the lands are developed in accordance with the 2004 city development plan, he said.
      “The Munster Agricultural Society, nor other occupiers, have the resources or the inclination, to develop this land,” he said.
      Developing the park would act as a catalyst to encourage private developers to invest in the docklands regeneration, he said.
      Several neighbouring Docklands land-banks closer to the city have already been acquired by developers like McCarthy Developments and Howard Holdings.
      Other landowners are poised to embark on development projects that will transform the area into a new urban quarter almost size of the city centre.

      Senior council planner, Ann Bogan, said developing the park near Pairc Ui Chaoimh was vital to provide the estimated 15,000 people who will live in the regenerated docklands, and the 23.000 people who will work there, a quality public open space.
      Junior counsel Pearse Sreenan, representing the council, said the Munster Agricultural Society had fragrantly breached the terms of its lease of the Showgrounds site.
      He produced aerial photographs which showed a portion of its show jumping enclosure had been used as a temporary car storage site by National Vehicle Distribution, and another small section had been used by an unauthorized spray painting Operation, which has now ceased.
      But David Holland SC, representing the Munster Agricultural Society, accused the council of frustrating his efforts to secure documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) relating to discussions it may have had with stakeholders in the docklands region.
      “Information is coming to us on the Cork grapevine,” he said.
      He produced documents secured under FOI which show that the secretary of Cork County Board, Frank Murphy, was in correspondence in 2004 with city manager Joe Gavin about GAA plans to build a hotel and a car park on the Showgrounds site as part of a possible Pairc Ui Chaoimh revamp.
      This is despite assertions by the council yesterday that no discussions about the stadium revamp had taken place and that zoning of the Showgrounds site would have a presumption against development.
      Mr Holland said it was impossible for him to properly question council witnesses without access to all relevant documents.
      But hearing chairman, Mr Ward, refused his request to direct the council to produce such documents.
      There were several sharp exchanges between both men as Mr Holland accused Mr Ward of being too rigid.
      But Mr Ward insisted that he wanted the hearing to proceed and wanted to ensure the council officials presented all their evidence yesterday.
      He said Mr Holland would have ample time to question witnesses today.
      Meanwhile, solicitor Kevin Nagle, representing Timothy (Ted) O’Keeffe,

      Comment


        #4


        clon where did you find that article ?


        In anycase it doesn't materially affect what is being attempted.


        "The current use of the Showgrounds land does not adhere to its public open space zoning "


        hmmmm

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Point


          Mr Nagle claimed that Howard Holdings had verbally agreed with him to buy the site for €10m in April. But Howard Holdings pulled out of the deal SHORTLY BEFORE THE CPO WAS ISSUED, he said.


          The hearing heard that Mr Nagle had rejected an offer from the council of €90,000 per acre to buy out any interest his client may have in the site. the hearing continues today.


          This sounds well suss, doesn't it? Presumably, the implication being the land in question will eventually end up in the hands of a certain HH, and some members of the council will be doing very well for themselves, thanks very much.
          Munster - Incessant Perfervidity
          "Ireland Will Choke" - Jeremy Guscott

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Point


            clon where did you find that article ?


            In anycase it doesn't materially affect what is being attempted.


            "The current use of the Showgrounds land does not adhere to its public open space zoning "


            hmmmm


            I got it from archiseek.com ,someone there pasted a copy. It's aweird case alright, all I would say though is that Showgrounds crowd weren't doing a lot with the land, I'd like to see it being used more.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Clon


              I got it from archiseek.com ,someone there pasted a copy. It's aweird case alright, all I would say though is that Showgrounds crowd weren't doing a lot with the land, I'd like to see it being used more.


              Thanks Clon


              I have no problem seeing it being used more as well but at a time when Cork City Council did nothing to help Munster Rugby, they plan to virtually give away the Showgrounds to the GAA for nothing, land that will be worth an absolute fortune. And worse, potentially non-sporting 3rd parties will enrich themselves at the expense of the citizens of Cork. What disgusts me is that not one Councillor has the balls to stand up to what is going on. [img]smileys/sad.gif[/img]

              Comment


                #8
                Off topic, but there does seem to be a trend of unusual land deals in
                Cork Co. Co, or an I missing something really obvious?

                City manager defends land sale

                By Eoin English
                CORK’S city manager has defended the contract governing the multi-
                million euro sale of 111 acres of public land to a top developer
                almost five years ago.


                Following probing questions from two city councillors, Joe Gavin
                issued a detailed two-page report this week outlining the issues
                surrounding the sale of city-owned land at Mahon to developer Owen
                O’Callaghan.

                In 1999, the then Cork Corporation advertised the sale of the land-
                bank in Mahon.

                O’Callaghan Properties bid €44 million and won the tender with
                ambitious plans for the development of Mahon Point shopping centre.

                Although it was not the highest bidder, the company’s offer to build a
                trade centre on a portion of the site helped clinched the deal.

                Under the terms of the sale, which was finally signed off in 2002, Mr
                O’Callaghan entered in to a trade centre agreement which would see
                him build a trade centre, or in default of this, pay €6,094,742 to the
                council.

                But a trade centre was subsequently deemed unsuitable at this
                location as the council earmarked a CIE-owned site near Kent Station
                as its preferred location.

                As efforts to secure the centre on that site dragged on, Mr Gavin
                announced two weeks ago his intention to call in the O’Callaghan
                bond to help fund the construction of a conference centre elsewhere
                in the city.

                He invited proposals from the private sector to build the facility within
                two kilometres of the city and said the council was prepared to invest
                up to €12m in the project to demonstrate its commitment.

                But Fine Gael Cllr Patricia Gosch and Socialist Party Cllr Mick Barry
                asked Mr Gavin why the €6m O’Callaghan bond was not index-linked
                to take into account rocketing land values.

                The site could now be worth up to €8m.

                They also asked why he was not being forced to hand back to the
                city the prime site which was originally earmarked for the trade
                centre.

                Mr Gavin confirmed that the amount agreed was not subject to
                indexation and that there was no provision for the return of lands to
                the city council.

                “The payment of €6,094,742 which was the money to be expended
                on the trade centre by purchasers was the agreed default situation,”
                he said.

                He said formal negotiations between the council and O’Callaghan
                Properties will take place on the terms of the trade centre
                agreement.

                But a spokesman for O’Callaghan Properties said the company has
                always been, and still is willing to build the trade centre in Mahon.

                He said once a decision is finally and officially taken to not proceed
                with the Mahon Point option, it will honour in full the terms of the
                bond.

                Click here for irishexaminer.com stories before this date
                It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

                Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

                Comment


                  #9


                  Well done, Joey ! That's very much ON-topic. And there is a figure central to the two stories.


                  IMO, O'Callaghan never had any intention of building a trade centre in Mahon Point. Himself and Gavin, no doubt, have some other site in mind for that. What is going on is sickening and it is disgraceful that politicians are fearful of taking Gavin on, who after all, is a public official. At least Mick Barry and Patricia Gosch are doing something, but where are all the Senior political representatives ?


                  I've been saying it for ages that we need a Public Inquiry into all the goings-on, in Cork over the last decade.


                  Comment


                    #10





                    Questions raised over Cork land deal

                    Mick Barry, Socialist Party candidate in Cork North-Central, has submitted fresh questions to the city manager about the O`Callaghan Properties land deal in


                    Councillor Barry is asking for the precise acreage to be confirmed and claims failure by the City Council to index link the bond could have saved the company as much as €2.3million.

                    O`Callaghan Properties will pay a €6million penalty to Cork City Council for the non-development of a conference centre in Mahon, on which the Mahon Point Centre now stands.

                    Comment


                      #11


                      bring it up when the politicians come knocking


                      is there any diagrams of the area being redeveloped or concept art etc?
                      "Some people don't know their easy lives... I wouldn't be so ungrateful" - Fiacre Ryan - #AutismAndMe

                      Comment


                        #12


                        from June 13 Examiner
                        <DIV id=post_message_67603>Report in today's Examiner re the Docklands.

                        Officials reveal plans for multi-billion regeneration of Cork’s south docks

                        By Eoin English
                        THOUSANDS of spacious luxury apartments aimed at families will be built in Cork’s multi-billion south docks regeneration project, city officials have revealed.

                        So-called ‘shoe-box’ apartments have been banned and city planners have set generous apartment floor-space guidelines for developers in a bid to attract families back to live in the city centre.

                        The guidelines are contained in the city’s ambitious draft south docks Local Area Plan (LAP) — a detailed development blueprint for the area which was agreed by city council on Monday.

                        It aims to transform the south docks into one of the most attractive urban waterfront quarters in Europe with thousands of residential apartments ranging in height from five to seven storeys, and including four soaring landmark towers — one of which will be 22 storeys high at the Marina.

                        The LAP wants to see the construction of 10,000 homes and apartments, has set a target population of 20,000 and a working population of 25,000 in the region by 2027.

                        To help achieve this, planners have set down guidelines for apartment sizes that are substantially bigger than the Government’s minimum requirements.

                        The apartments will range from one bedroom dwellings for two people, to four bedroom dwellings for seven people, with a range of options in between.

                        Pat Ledwidge, the director of the city council’s Docklands Directorate, said this move was designed to make the apartments more attractive for families.

                        “We felt that if we wanted to encourage families to live in the docklands, we needed to have adequate living quarters,” he said.

                        “The apartments will also have generous storage space which has often been a problem area for apartments in the past,” he said.

                        And two massive planning applications for sites in the docks are to be lodged within weeks.

                        Property developers Howard Holdings and landowners the Tedcastle Group are expected to seek planning permission in August for a joint project to transform 30 acres of land near Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

                        Their project for a site three times the size of Croke Park, includes offices, residential and retail developments and a 200-bedroom hotel.</DIV>

                        Comment


                          #13


                          Thanks to Radioactiveman on Archiseek for putting this up.


                          Comment


                            #14
                            Do we have to have two threads about Cork....MODS FFS do something about this.

                            Comment


                              #15


                              The brass neck of the City Manager going into bat for a private developer, yet again, is stunning.


                              Some of you may remember that when Joe Gavin put in his CPO to annex the Showgrounds, Howard Holdings offered the site next door FREE to Aitken Promotions to host the Live at the Marquee event, thus denying the Showgrounds the rent from it.


                              And as luck would have it, when the tendering process went out for the new conference centre, who should win it ??? None other than Howard Holdings !!! AND in the same Docklands site that hosted the Live at the Marquee.... The luck of it ! What a happy coincidence.......


                              And as I had predicted in my post of Posted: 17 November 2006 at 1:47pm there will be an attached 200 bed hotel built by ........ Howard Holdings !!!


                              To add insult to injury, Cork City Council are PAYING Howard Holdings €8.25m towards the cost of building it. Howard Holdings should be paying the City of Cork for this goldmine, not the other way around.


                              Thejokeis that apparently Gavin needed to be "convinced" by Aitken Promotions of the viability of such a concert venue in Cork, when Aitken told him, "if you provide the venue, I'll fill it". This was at a meeting about 3/4 months ago.


                              Comment

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