Mixed Use Redevelopment – Custom House Site, Cork City

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McCutcheon Halley was part of the multi-disciplinary team responsible for securing planning permission in March 2021 for the mixed-use redevelopment of the Custom House Quay site which comprised a 34-storey tower (140 metres) including a 240-bedroom hotel and a range of commercial uses consisting of non-comparison retail, office, food and beverage, distillery, tourism, leisure, and waterfront public realm. McCutcheon Halley acted as lead planning consultant, from inception through to decision including successfully responding to the third-party appeal.

The key issues related to height, conservation and cultural heritage, environment, flooding, wind microclimate, traffic, and visual impact.

From an early stage in the design process, McCutcheon Halley worked with the City Council to ensure that the development resulted in a high-quality landmark building that bridged the city centre and the docklands and conserved and integrated the protected structures on the site.

McCutcheon Halley worked with the multi-disciplinary team at all stages of the planning process to submit an application for the development works including pre-planning consultations, participation in public consultation, preparation of the planning application, providing strategic advice to the design team to ensure the key issues were addressed, as well as a validation review and managing the quality control of relevant technical reports. The application required coordination of a detailed response to the Council’s requests for further information and the application was approved by Cork City Council.

The application was subsequently appealed by three 3rd parties and McCutcheon Halley coordinated the response, with the main issues relating to policy compliance and suitability of the site for a tall building, impact on protected views and prospects and impact on built heritage and demolition of a protected structure.


On the 22nd March 2021, An Bord Pleanála strongly endorsed the Local Planning Authority’s decision to grant permission for the mixed-use re-development of the Custom House site and considered it would “secure the re-development of strategic, under-utilised urban land in a prominent city centre location and would assist in the re-development and rejuvenation of this part of Cork City Centre” as well as seeking to “secure more compact and higher density development in city centre areas…in line…with national, regional and local policy measures and guidance”.

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