PLANS for a strategic housing development on the former St Kevin’s Hospital grounds in Cork have taken a step forward.
The pre-application consultation has been submitted to An Bord Pleanala by the Land Development Agency (LDA).
Their proposal includes 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 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. It is also close to University College Cork and The Mardyke Arena & Leisure Centre, while being within walking distance from the city centre.
According to the LDA project description, the development will offer “expansive views over the western suburbs of the city".
“The majority of the site is situated in an area zoned ‘Residential, Local Services and Institutional Uses’ in the Cork City Development Plan 2015-2021.
“The LDA will repurpose this well-known Cork landmark into an attractive residential development with a mix of social, affordable and private homes.”
An Bord Pleanala will decide if the proposals can progress in their current form, or if further clarity, changes or information is needed by the end of July.
When plans were initially mooted, councillors wanted assurances that the plans would have local input, following public outrage around lack of infrastructure to support a 200-unit housing development at the nearby Good Shepherd convent.
The St Kevin’s Hospital site borders Blarney Road, Shanakiel, Sunday’s Well, and the Lee Road, and it’s understood adequate infrastructure is a concern for locals with this potential development also.
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 inlast July 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.
They currently have around a dozen developments at various stages ongoing across the country.