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Opera Site Planning Application Lodged with An Bord Pleanála

Opera Site planning application has been lodged with An Bord Pleanála as of Friday, March 22. 

Opera Site planning application lodged with An Bord Pleanála

Limerick City and County Council has confirmed on Friday, March 22, that it has lodged a planning application to An Bord Pleanála for the Opera site – the largest inner-city commercial development outside of the capital.

The iconic site will be developed by Limerick Twenty Thirty DAC – a special purpose vehicle created by Limerick City and County Council in 2016 to transform a number of disused iconic sites in the city and county into catalysts for economic development and job creation.




The entity has been active over the last two and half years developing the world-class Gardens International, which opened this week, advancing the mammoth Opera site project to planning, master-planning the 250-unit first phase of the Mungret Park housing development as well as the 10-acre Cleeves Riverside campus.

The 1.62-hectare Opera Site, however, is the largest project in the programme and will be developed over a six-year period at a total cost of around €180 m.  It is fully funded thanks to commitments from the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank.

The site was acquired by the then Limerick City Council in 2011 after a previous plan to develop it collapsed during the crash.

A transformational project for Limerick, Opera will be capable of employing up to 3,000 people across a 450,000 sq. ft development. The project will be developed to LEED Gold and Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) standards and is expected to take six years.

Said Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins: “With regard to the wider regeneration of Limerick, this is the project that we’ve been waiting for more than any.  After stalling before while in private ownership, it has finally arrived, I’m delighted to say, at this key stage.”

“We had the opening of Gardens International this week and that set a new standard in terms of office space for Limerick.  Opera is six times the size and will be the single most transformational project this decade in any city in Ireland.” 

Opera Site planning application

The Opera Site would be the largest inner-city commercial development outside of the capital.

Said Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Conn Murray: “Getting Opera to this key stage is a big moment for Limerick and the region, one we’ve waited a long time for.  We now see what this fantastic project will comprise and how it will change our city and the region for the good. The team at Limerick Twenty Thirty has worked tirelessly and meticulously to pull this mammoth planning application together and justifiably so.”

“Opera will be the biggest economic catalyst for our city in decades and the knock-on benefit of this across all strands of our society will be enormous.  We now look forward to completing the planning process and moving on to developing this game-changing development for our city and region.”

Planning application summary:

The application, in accordance with Section 175 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, includes the demolition of all Twentieth Century buildings and later additions, the adaptive re-use of the Protected Structures and other structures of heritage value, and, the construction of c. 45,170sq m mixed-use scheme comprising:

  • The construction of a part-11 part-14 storey landmark building at Bank Place comprising c. 13,264 sq. m office floorspace
  • The redevelopment of the existing car park on Michael St. with the erection of a 4- 6 storey over basement building providing c. 12,654 sq. m office use, with c.960 sq. m retail, and, c.430 sq. m restaurant/café use at ground level
  • The erection of a part-3 part-5 Storey building on the corner of Patrick St. and Ellen St. comprising a 57 No. room apart-hotel (c.5,150.6 sq. m), 13 no. apartments and c.1,013.8 sq. m of retail at ground and basement levels
  • The refurbishment of an existing 4 storey over basement building on Rutland Street providing c. 444.2 sq. m of ground and basement retail use, with 3 No. residential dwellings above
  • The refurbishment of no. 9 Ellen Street (Quinn’s) to provide a c. 1,260.3 sq. m bar and restaurant
  • The renovation and adaption of the former Town Hall (a Protected Structure, RPS Ref. No. 014), including the construction of 6 stories over-basement extension, to provide a new public library of c.4,515.8 sq. m, c.2,981 sq. m of office floorspace, and, c.196.4 sq. m of retail and c.445.9 sq. m of café/restaurant floorspace in the basement. The Bruce House Doorway (a Protected Structure, RPS Ref. No. 317) will be relocated at the internal gable of number 8 Rutland Street within the new library building atrium.
  • The refurbishment and adaptive re-use of the Granary Building on Michael Street (a Protected Structure, RPS Ref. No. 272), including the replacement of the modern extension to the rear with a new glazed vertical circulation space. (Jessie to provide further wording for works to the protected structure).
  • The construction of a basement car park at Opera Square comprising 155 no. car parking spaces and 311 no. secure cycle parking spaces, together with shower and changing facilities. An additional 40 no. secure cycle parking spaces will be provided at ground level. 120 no. public cycle spaces, and, the provision for a 24-space cycle hire scheme will be provided at ground level within the public realm.

The development also includes improvement works to the adjacent public streets, hard and soft landscaping changes, signage and flagpoles, lighting, change in levels, substations, diversion of underground services, set-down areas, and all related site development and excavation works above and below ground. In addition, 3 no. new public squares/plazas will be created comprising; The Central Plaza c. 3,700 sq. m; the Granary Courtyard’ c. 785sq m; and, Bank Place c. 1,775sq m.

An Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) has been prepared in respect of the Proposed Development.

This application for permission, EIAR and NIS will be available for inspection free of charge, or may be purchased on payment of a specified fee (which fee shall not exceed the reasonable cost of making such a copy) during public opening hours excluding Bank Holidays, at the following locations:

  • The Offices of An Bord Pleanála, 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1,
  • Limerick City and County Council, Dooradoyle Road, Dooradoyle, Limerick, V94 WV78.

Search ‘Opera Site Planning Application’ on or directly here to view or download the application plans and particulars and the EIAR.

Submissions or observations may be made only to An Bord Pleanála (“the Board”), 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1.

For more information on Limerick 2030, go here.

For more stories on Limerick 2030, go here.

Opera Site Planning Application Opera Site Planning Application Opera Site Planning Application

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.