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Application Lodged for Riverside Café at Bridge House

A planning application has been lodged with Cork County Council at Bridge House Carrigaline for mixed-use development. Plans indicate a change of use to the old medical surgery which would see the ground floor used as a commercial unit, and the first floor for residential use.

The applicant seeks to take advantage of its proximity to the Owenabue River, with the application also applying for the provision of a first-floor balcony and a "street-level riverside public outdoor café comprised of partially cantilevered deck over the Owenboy River with outdoor self-service coffee/food vending machines."

An iconic building located in the heart of Carrigaline, Bridge House has been vacant since the opening of the Primary Care Centre on the Crosshaven Road. Since the move was finalised a few years ago, no planning application has been made for the site until now.

Pic: Siobhán Russell

The design approach for this application centres around its location to the river and to public bus stops, located just outside of the site. The applicant's intention is to promote "much needed residential accommodation in the village of Carrigaline", while also taking advantage of "a very much under-utilised riverside property", which would be a fantastic opportunity for a local "startup/small business".

The layout of the design also indicates that access to the riverside decking would be made available directly from the public footpath, with a metal gate and railing providing entrance. This would be a fantastic spot in particular for those waiting for a bus either heading towards Town or indeed to Crosshaven. It provides an opportunity to open up the river and allow both locals and tourists to take in the scenic views.

Much has been said in recent years about making better use of the Owenabue River, and in light of recent restrictions relating to Covid, such calls have been echoed. Under the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Local Area Plan 2017 the river has been designated part of an extensive area of high-value, and much of the Estuary is a proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA).

The application also makes reference to the Carrigaline Bridge and highlights that there will be no interference with its existing walls and structures. Furthermore, it notes that "the deck café will be generally unmanned, other than at opening and closing times and to re-stock supplies to the dispensing beverage and food vending machines."

The full application can be viewed on Cork County Council's website.

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