Green light for 500 ca­pac­ity mu­sic venue

New Ross Standard - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

PLANS FOR a new, pur­pose-built, mu­sic venue on the Wex­ford quay front has been given the green light by An Bord Pleanala fol­low­ing an ap­peal against the County Coun­cil per­mis­sion grant.

CoAnt En­ter­tain­ments Lim­ited had ap­plied to and re­ceived plan­ning per­mis­sion from Wex­ford County Coun­cil for the de­mo­li­tion of the ex­ist­ing Crown Live premises and con­struc­tion of a new live mu­sic premises at Com­mer­cial Quay. How­ever, in May of this year, David O’Con­nor of 18 Com­mer­cial Quay lodged an ap­peal against the ap­pli­ca­tion - is­sues raised re­lated to fire es­cape ac­cess and a loss of nat­u­ral light to his busi­ness premises.

Last week, An Bord Pleanala up­held Wex­ford County Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to grant the ap­pli­ca­tion, with some con­di­tions. These re­lated to sound and noise mon­i­tor­ing, the fi­nal art­work for the front mu­ral, site hours and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal con­di­tions, and con­tri­bu­tions to the lo­cal au­thor­ity for pub­lic in­fra­struc­ture, fa­cil­i­ties and to off­set the loss of four on-street car park­ing spa­ces.

The board also stressed that works be car­ried out in ac­cor­dance with a Con­struc­tion Man­age­ment Plan and in ac­cor­dance with the sub­mit­ted plans and par­tic­u­lars.

Hote­lier Colm Neville is one of the own­ers of Crown Live and he ex­pressed his de­light with the de­ci­sion that would open the door for the ex­pan­sion and devel­op­ment of the venue which, he said, is al­ready prov­ing to be a pop­u­lar fa­cil­ity for con­certs.

Crown Live will wel­come mu­sic acts, The Bl­iz­zards, Rip­tide Move­ment, Damien Dempsey and Mick Flan­nery in the com­ing months.

Mr Neville said: ‘We are thrilled with the suc­cess of the shows held to date in Crown Live and we are only de­lighted to be able to bring such artists to Wex­ford where pre­vi­ously there re­ally wasn’t an ap­pro­pri­ate venue.’

The venue cur­rently has ca­pac­ity for 300 peo­ple stand­ing but the new one would hold up to 500, with 150 tiered seats on a bal­cony and a stand­ing area on the ground floor, sim­i­lar to Dublin’s Olympia Theatre.

‘ This will al­low us to bring even big­ger acts to Wex­ford and will en­able us to es­tab­lish Crown Live as an even more cred­itable venue on the cir­cuit of live band venues.’

He added his hope that it would give mu­sic lovers the chance to see qual­ity mu­sic and com­edy acts with­out hav­ing to travel to Dublin. The green room fa­cil­i­ties will also be greatly en­hanced as part of the works.

Mr Neville said that he and his brother, and co-owner, An­thony, would sit down in the com­ing weeks to con­sider a time­line for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the venue, say­ing that they would, more than likely, wait for the out­come of an­other plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion that they have sub­mit­ted on a neigh­bour­ing site.

CoAnt ex­pects a re­sponse to an ap­pli­ca­tion for a sub­stan­tial 137 bed­room ho­tel, re­tail space and car park, which would be lo­cated next door to Crown Live and di­rectly op­po­site Wex­ford Bridge. The com­pany also owns the Crown Bar, which backs on to both sites, hav­ing bought it in July 2015.

Mr Neville, who also owns the River­side Park Ho­tel in En­nis­cor­thy along with a num­ber of ho­tels across the coun­try, said the ur­gency to ex­pand would be driven by de­mand and, sub­se­quently, their abil­ity to at­tract big­ger bands.

He said they were de­lighted that the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand had been granted and they could move for­ward when they felt the time was right.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the pro­posed front fa­cade of the new mu­sic venue.

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