Cornmarket Street Area Action Plan

The Cornmarket Street Area Action Plan was adopted by Cork City Council on 23 rd May 2005, and forms part of a broader strategy that aims to regenerate the City Centre, which has seen several hundred million euros committed to projects in recent years. This final version of the plan replaces the draft plan that went on public consultation in 2004 and takes account of the submissions made by interested members of the public and discussions with key stakeholders, by including all amendments adopted by Council. The objectives of the Action Plan are supplementary to those in the Cork City Development Plan 2004

The Action Plan is a non-statutory local area plan that sets out an ambitious vision for the transformation of the Cornmarket Street area to into a thriving urban quarter, attractive for business, as well as for people to live, work and visit. The document seeks to address a broad range of issues through a single integrated plan that sets out a range of projects necessary to effect positive change in the area. The Action Plan area extends from the River Lee in the north to Castle Street/Paul Street in the south and from North Main Street in the west to Half Moon Street in the east.  

The Action Plan will provide the framework to enable Cork City Council to provide leadership to facilitate positive change in the area. One of the main objectives of the Action Plan is to promote the expansion of the central retail area into the area, the aim being to create strong functional connections between the existing retail areas on Patrick Street / Academy Street / Paul Street and North Main Street, with Cornmarket Street (and the Guy’s site, in particular) being the essential link to creating strong east-west pedestrian flows. The Plan also aims to reorganise and expand the market so as to maximise its potential, to improve the public realm, and to give the area greater pedestrian priority.  

The Plan has been prepared as an integrated “vision document” that seeks to address a broad range of issues through a single integrated plan (See Section 2). By providing a framework for the development and improvement of Cornmarket Street and the surrounding area it aims to maximise the potential of the area by building on what’s good about it. One of the themes is the creation of the right conditions for new retail developments in the area, providing strong pedestrian routes from the proposed Academy Street retail development, through the Paul Street and Guy’s site Shopping Centres to Cornmarket Street and on to North Main Street.  

Central to the Action Plan are the Movement and Accessibility Strategy, which aims to increase pedestrian priority and improve public transport access to the area. The rate of change to the traffic management regime in the area will now be slower than envisaged in the Draft Plan, with change linked to higher levels of pedestrian footfall in the area due to new commercial activity with the expansion of retail and other activities, and in consultation with local stakeholders. This phased approach to change is in response to concerns raised by existing retail traders in the area. See Section 3.  

It is the intention of the Action Plan to create a distinctive street market so that it will continue to be a focal point of community activity but will also become a shopping and a visitor attraction that appeals to the widest customer base. The long-term aim is to ensure that the market is busy 6-7 days of the week. In the short term the market will be improved and managed so that it is operating at capacity on Fridays and Saturdays. See Section 4.  

The Action Plan also looks to the opportunities for future development while respecting the significant heritage value of the area. It promotes the redevelopment of a number of key sites in the area, including strategic development sites at Cornmarket Street (Guy’s, The Loft / Portney’s Lane) and the Kyrl’s Quay group of sites. These have the ability to transform the area in terms of providing commercial confidence and changing the physical appearance and image of the area. Upper floor residential uses are promoted. See Section 5.  

The public realm strategy for the area aims to achieve an attractive public realm of streets and spaces. The high quality public realm will complement the proposed developments on adjacent sites and provide the venue for a range of activities. Primary spaces will be designed to a similar specification to that used on other City Centre landmark spaces, such as Oliver Plunkett Street and Saint Patrick Street. See Section 6.  

The area is already beginning to show signs of improvement with the City Council holding a very successful design ideas competition for the Kyrl’s Quay group of sites and work about to commence on the redevelopment of the Guy’s Site. Building on this momentum it is hoped that the plan will make a positive contribution to the area’s redevelopment by providing a focus and guidance for future projects.  

The City Council’s Planning and Development Department will now establish an Implementation Team to oversee the implementation of the Plan and its constituent projects ( see Section 7). This team will also engage in on-going consultation with stakeholders in the area and other interested parties.

Front cover(57KB)

Section 0 – Forward, Table of Contents and Acknowledgements(497KB)

Section 1 – Introduction(2,256KB)

Section 2 – Broad Strategy(650KB)

Section 3 – Movement and Accessibility Strategy(445KB)

Section 4 – Street Market Strategy(774KB)

Section 5 – Development Strategy

Development Strategy Part 1(1,567KB)

Development Strategy Part 2(1,304KB)

Section 6 – Public realm strategy

Public realm strategy Part 1(1,215KB)

Public realm strategy Part 2(1,919KB)

Section 7 – Implementation Strategy(472KB)

Section 8 – Appendices(1,501KB)

Back cover(317KB)