THE decision to grant permission for a massive housing project in Ballyvolane will give young people the opportunity to stay and raise families in the area, the Lord Mayor has said.
A total of 753 residential dwellings are to be built by Longview Estates Ltd in Ballyvolane, located on a site at Lahardane and Ballincolly.
The project will comprise 67 detached houses — 31 four-bed and 36 three-bed homes.
It’s proposed there will be 278 semi-detached houses — 41 of which have four bedrooms, with another 237 of those three-bed houses.
186 terraced houses are included in the plans ranging from two to four beds, there are also 69 two and three-bed duplexes proposed, while there are three apartment blocks included in the proposal with 153 units in total.
The decision has 32 of conditions attached.
Ten-year planning was sought due to the scale of the project, however, one of the conditions of the development is that permission will be granted for a period of seven years.
The developers, prior to the commencement of construction, must submit revised drawings reflecting a revised, larger community centre for the development.
Other conditions also require the developer to come up with new drawings for vehicle access to the site and improved pedestrian and cycling routes.
The inspector had highlighted some concerns with the proposal to build the 753 residential units, however, the board saw a number of merits to the development.
They said that a “long-term impact on population will be positive and will comply with the national target for the expansion of major cities.”
The board also believes the upgrade of the Ballyhooley Road will provide a long-term positive for cyclists and pedestrians.
Local councillor Mick Nugent said housing is always welcome and, on that scale, it is an opportunity for the area.
“Transport infrastructure is an issue, schooling will be an issue. Transport needs to be looked at, residents are making that point.”
He said Ballyvolane has been lacking a youth and community centre for some time and the condition by An Bord Pleanala to ensure such a facility is included is very welcome.
“The area has been looking for something like this for a long time. It is the missing piece for Ballyvolane and Dublin Hill.”
Independent councillor Ger Keohane said he was delighted with the condition of planning that will see the L2976 local road omitted and replaced with pedestrian-only access and vehicular turning head.
“This was a big concern for locals and residents. I’m delighted to see this condition included. I think the developer and Cork City Council were fantastic in engaging with the local residents. They were on the ball.”
Mr Keohane said the residents’ concerns were listened to.
“Its a good news story, it a good news story for housing.”
Lord Mayor John Sheehan said the project had been in the pipeline for some time.
“Overall it is good news for the area. There is a need for housing and there would be a lot of people keen to stay in the area so this will give them the opportunity to do that.”
Mr Sheehan said the conditions were interesting and commended An Bord Pleanala for ensuring a community centre is included in the project.
“A community centre is to be built within the complex, whether this will be open to the wider community remains to be seen.
“The area is crying out for a community development and hopefully, it will be available to the broader community.
“The residents will be part of the wider community so it makes sense that it would be open and it would be an opportunity to provide facilities to the area that are much needed.”
Labour councillor John Maher said it was a very positive thing that people from the area could live and stay in the area.
“The influx of young people will help with schools and local clubs.
“The headache now is the infrastructure. We need the North Ring Road and that is national politics and we need the National Transport Authority (NTA) to come down and look at the area and improve the bus services.”
Mr Maher highlighted that Upper Glanmire, White’s Cross, Dublin Pike, and Kilcully are without a bus service and said there is also a need for some road upgrades in the area.
“I hope that the housing development changes things,” he said.