AN application has been lodged to build 753 homes on Cork’s northside, with the price of a three-bed semi to cost €311k.
Developers Longview Estates Limited have submitted the application for the Ballyvolane homes directly to An Bord Pleanala, under the Government's Strategic Housing Development scheme, meaning it bypasses Cork City Council’s planning department.
Ten-year planning has been sought, due to the scale of the project and the proposed phased implementation.
A decision will now be made on the development by An Bord Pleanala directly.
The site, located at Lahardane and Ballincolly, Ballyvolane is 46.9 hectares in size, and is less than 3km from Cork city centre.
Estimates from the developers put the price of a two-bedroom mid-terraced house at around €243,000, while a three-bed semi-detached house is set to cost around €311,500.
The proposed development is comprised of 67 detached houses - 31 of which are four-bed, while 36 are three-bed homes. 278 of the dwellings are set to be semi-detached houses - 41 of which are four bedroomed, with 237 of those 3 bed.
According to plans, there will be 186 terraced houses - 18 four beds, 96 three beds, and 72 two beds.
The development will also include 69 duplexes including 36 three-bedroom units, and 33 two-bedroom units, while three apartment blocks will be provided incorporating 153 apartments, made up of six studio apartments, 42 one-bedroom apartments, 79 two-bedroom apartments and 26 three-bedroom apartments.
Estimates, based on calculations provided in planning documentation, show the cost of a four-bed semi-detached house coming in at just over €324,000, while a three-bedroom upper duplex would cost approximately €307,000.
A two-bed duplex is estimated to cost just under €200,000.
A number of open spaces and play areas, a community centre including a crèche, two retail units, and a doctors surgery are included in the planning proposal.
Also included are significant upgrades to the Ballyhooly Road, including two vehicular access routes to the site, while one is proposed from the local road to the north of the site. Pedestrian access is also provided for on the north.
A footpath and cycle path from the site down the Ballyhooly Road to connect to the existing footpath network and a bus stop on the Ballyhooly Road are also proposed.
The provision of the 2.2km Link Road from Mayfield to Kilbarry, part of which runs through the site, is included.
The land has been reserved free of development until the final alignment of the Link Road is determined so transport infrastructure in the area is not compromised.
An Bord Pleanala are expected to make a ruling on the application by April 17, 2020, and should the project get the green light, it is anticipated work will commence in 2021, with the project taking place over six phases.
Phase one, dated the end of 2021 would see the construction of 75 units as Neighbourhood 1 while Neighbourhood 2 looks set to be delivered in two phases from 2022 to the end of 2023 and will see 200 additional units constructed.
Neighbourhood 3 and 4 are the components of Phase 4 which would see a further 100 houses in 2024, and at the end of 2025 Phase 5 proposes the construction of approximately 100 units in Neighbourhood 5.
The final phase will be delivered in two parts - the first will see 125 units constructed at the end of 2026 in Neighbourhood 5, and from mid-2027 to 2029 a further 153 units are to be constructed, including 126 apartments in Neighbourhood 6 and the apartments in Neighbourhood 2 if they have not been developed at this stage.
This large-scale development has been in the works since initial consultations with Cork County Council in June 2017. Cork City and County Councillors were invited to a meeting on the project in September of the same year, while in October 2017 a public consultation for people living in the area was held and the plans have been upgraded and adjusted over the last two years.
According to letters included in documentation online from Longview Estates, Cork Chamber and the Cork Business Association have both lent their support to the development in Ballyvolane.
Locals are largely in favour of the housing project but have concerns about the lack of infrastructure.
“The general consensus really is that they’re not objecting to the houses, it’s just the lack of infrastructure up around Lahardane,” local councillor Ger Keohane said.
“The only concern really is there’s a proposal to put a road from the estate on to the Lahardane road, it’s a narrow road, maybe three metres wide in most of the area,” he added.
For the size of the road, it’s already busy and is often used by commuters driving to and from work and the concerns surround whether the road would be able to take additional traffic from the estate.
Cllr Keohane has said that it’s “an exciting project” but adequate transport infrastructure needs to be looked at.
The Ballyvolane project is the second massive housing project to be unveiled for Cork in the last 48 hours, following the announcement that 1,100 apartments are earmarked for the Live at the Marquee site in the city's docklands.
Marina Quarter Limited has made a request for consultation with An Bord Pleanála on December 16 to build 1,100 apartments and child care facilities, along with other amenities on the former Ford distribution site on Centre Park Road.