Planning refused for changes to ‘protected' Skibbereen shopfront

January 26th, 2017 5:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Protected structure: the former Cleary's pharmacy in Skibbereen

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CORK County Council has refused planning permission for repairs to the front of a shop at Main Street, Skibbereen, on the basis that it is a protected structure.

The application – which was submitted by a local engineer on behalf of the applicant, M O’Brien – was made in respect of No 8, Main Street, Skibbereen. 

The shop was formerly Cleary’s Pharmacy, but the pharmacy has since relocated to a different premises across the street.

The applicant sought to carry out repairs to the front facade of the building, as well as the replacement of the first floor timber beams over the shopfront – which would result in the partial reconstruction of the front facade from first floor level to parapet level – and the replication of pediment head moulding and rendered surrounds and all of the corbelled eaves, as well as replacement of all of the first and second floor windows.

But, in an order signed by Clodagh Henehan, the West Cork divisional manager, the Council refused permission on the basis that the three-storey building is a protected structure under the Skibbereen Town Plan 2009 – 2015 and is also included on the list of on the National Inventory of Architectural or Architectural heritage. As outlined in the Cork County Development Plan, the Council said: ‘It is the stated objective of the Planning Authority ... to ensure the protection of all such structures and to protect the built and historic heritage.

‘The proposed development involves the removal of historic masonry from the front elevation of the protected structure and such works are not supported by appropriate documentation of a sufficient level of detail. The proposed works are therefore considered to be potentially detrimental to the integrity of the protected structure that may result in irreversible damage to such architectural heritage. 

‘Accordingly, the proposed development would materially contravene stated objectives of the Cork County Development Plan 2014, contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.’

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