Private company seeks to build 753 new homes on Cork's northside: Fears infrastructure won't be able to cope

Private company seeks to build 753 new homes on Cork's northside: Fears infrastructure won't be able to cope

Plans for 753 homes near Ballyvolane will be officially lodged within the next week. Stock image.

PLANS for 753 homes near Ballyvolane will be officially lodged within the next week.

A planning application from private developers is imminent and will be lodged under the Government's Strategic Housing Development scheme, which means it would bypass Cork City Council and will be decided by An Bord Pleanála.

A pre-planning consultation between Longview Estates Ltd and the planning board began in July after the initial outlines of the scheme were lodged in April.

The developers, the board and both city and county council have been in discussions about the massive housing project ever since. 

The site is approximately 4km from the city centre and set on over 100 acres.

It will include 599 houses and 154 apartments and the company is seeking a 10-year planning permission.

The site is in the townland Lahardane, to the east of Ballyhooley Road between the Fox and Hound Shopping Centre the Stirrup Bar near the Rathcooney area.

It is just minutes from the Old Whitechurch Road where there are already plans for up to 600 homes on the biggest landbank owned by Cork City Council. 

That site is set to be supported by an €11 million infrastructure package.

Residents in close proximity to the development site at Lahardane are believed to be in support of new housing projects but are fearful the infrastructure, such as roads and public transport, won’t be installed to support it. 

The development was one of the items on the agenda of a meeting of the Upper Glanmire Community Association this week.

The land is within the Ballyvolane Urban Expansion Area and was deemed by Cork County Council as one of the best locations for the development of new communities in metropolitan Cork but the site was transferred to Cork City Council following May’s city boundary extension.

Councillors have welcomed the potential housing but have expressed concerns about the road infrastructure, schools, water connections and public transport that will be needed to support a development of this scale.

Thomas Gould (SF) said: “There is no infrastructure there. It’s a tight road and only one car can pass at a time. 

"The residents are worried that this planning application will bypass the city council and go straight to An Bord Pleanála.

"It’s an area that was formerly under the jurisdiction of the county council and that local authority has done no infrastructure work out there.

"The community are in favour of housing but there has to be infrastructure before housing is put in. 

"We could be looking at an extra 1,500 cars with no proper roads, lighting, footpaths or pedestrian crossings,” Mr Gould added.

Councillor Ger Keohane (IND) added: “The houses would be very welcome but supporting infrastructure is the big issue. 

"Irish Water will have a big part to play with connecting to the Little Island treatment plant. 

"We are hoping to meet with City Hall chief executive Ann Doherty to discuss the roads, schools and buses.”

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