Bishopstown residents voice concerns over proposed housing development

Bishopstown residents voice concerns over proposed housing development

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A RESIDENTIAL committee in Bishopstown has raised concerns about the building of 67 social housing units at the junction of Hawkes Road and Bishopstown Road.

The committee, whose members represent various areas in Bishopstown including Bishopstown Road, Tiffany Downs, Brampton Court, Hawkes Road, St Joseph’s Lawn, Dunville, Waterfall Road, The Rise, Ashgrove Mews and Melbourne, has voiced the concerns of many residents in the area about the proposed development.

The committee was formed as a means to allay the fears of local residents who have concerns about certain elements of this development by seeking answers to their objections.

Cork City Council, with developer OBR Construction Group, has proposed to build four three-storey apartment blocks and 40 two-storey houses with 23 car parking spaces on the 1.06 hectare site.

The committee is in agreement that such housing is needed but wants it to be “designed, developed, and constructed properly, for the good of the occupants of that housing and for the wider community”.

One of its major concerns is the proposed development’s location at the junction of Bishopstown Road and Hawkes Road which a spokesperson for the committee described as “an artery for a lot of traffic to get from the South Ring Road across Bishopstown”.

“In the context of it already being very heavily loaded with traffic, this development is coming into the picture. The concerns that are already there about safety on that corner, be it cyclists, pedestrians, or vehicles, are going to be amplified even more by having an entrance for a development that has 67 housing units and we don’t know how many cars.

“We know how many parking spaces but we don’t know how many cars,” the spokesperson said.

The committee also raised concerns about the height of the apartment blocks which overlook adjacent properties and “do not fit into the character of the surrounding area”.

Issues with the proposed development’s proximity to Bishopstown Road have also been highlighted with the spokesperson adding that “the absence of a meaningful setback from the existing public realm on Bishopstown Road contrasts with the current arrangement of adjacent single-family dwellings on both sides of the road in the immediate vicinity of the entrance”.

Concerns have also been raised about the “limited open space” on the site which the committee has been told “comply with the minimum requirements for open spaces”.

The committee also highlighted that out of the 23 car park spaces for the 67 homes, three are electric vehicle charging spaces and two are wheelchair accessible spaces.

“If you apply the standards for a suburban area like this in Cork, for visitor parking alone there should be 17 spaces and we’re concerned that the people here are going to have difficulties.”

Comparisons have been made to that of the Poulavone development in Ballincollig, also undergoing a Part 8 planning application process and which has 149 parking spaces proposed for 70 residential units.

The committee has estimated that “500 to 600 submissions of concerns and objections” have been made to Cork City Council regarding the proposed development and the committee has requested that the number of submissions be highlighted despite the conclusion of the public consultation period.

Confirmation of this figure has been sought from Cork City Council.

The committee has also requested that local councillors, once presented with the Part 8 process of the development, “be given sufficient time to engage back with the constituents, especially in a pandemic”.

The spokesperson said the proposed development is a missed opportunity to build affordable housing in Bishopstown: “Affordable housing is an issue at the moment across the country and we felt that this was a missed opportunity.”

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