PLANS for a strategic housing development (SHD) on the former St Kevin’s Hospital grounds in Cork have to go back to the drawing board.
The pre-application consultation between An Bord Pleanála and the Land Development Agency (LDA), who are behind the proposals, has seen the plans assessed as needing further consideration or amendment.
Their proposal included the provision for the construction of 274 residential units - 46 of which are houses, while there would also be 228 apartments, and an on-site creche.
The site itself in Shanakiel is approximately 14 acres and is located on a south-facing hillside, on the opposite side of the River Lee from Fitzgerald’s Park and the Lee Fields.
Speaking about the project previously, LDA CEO John Coleman said: “Our ambition is to redevelop this landmark site using best national and international practice in urban regeneration of former institutional lands, to deliver an exemplar affordable housing development that has distinctive character and enduring sense of place. In doing so the LDA will ensure the historical legacy of the site is fully respected.”
According to the LDA project description, the development would offer “expansive views over the western suburbs of the city".
They also say that the well-known Cork landmark would be transformed “into an attractive residential development with a mix of social, affordable and private homes.”
However, An Bord Pleanála have now ruled that the plans cannot progress to the full SHD application stage in their current format.
St Kevin's Hospital was closed by the HSE in 2002 and, following years of anti-social behaviour at the site, was added to the derelict sites register in February 2017.
A fire in July 2017 gutted the St Kevin’s building with numerous smaller fires and anti-social behaviour instances reported since.
It was revealed in The Echo in July 2019 that the dilapidated building had been acquired by the LDA, but the details of the acquisition deal have not been made public.
The LDA was established in 2018 with the promise it would build 150,000 homes over 20 years using State land.