A NEW proposed 121-apartment development in Ballincollig will go some way to easing pressure on the popular suburb where housing supply has dried to “next to nothing”, according to a local councillor.
O’Flynn Construction has applied directly to An Bord Pleanála for a consultation on the development to determine whether the number of apartments falls under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) scheme.
The Government’s SHD scheme allows developers to apply directly to the planning authority without going through the local council planning system in order to fast-track housing developments.
The site is to the north of the CastleWest Shopping Centre on Old Fort Road and is close to a number of similar developments.
Councillor Derry Canty has welcomed the prospect of the new homes.
“It’s a no-brainer to build there and that site is lying idle. It’s better to build housing than let it lying empty.
“It would be great to fill in the gap there because there are houses and apartments along that road and it’s well serviced by infrastructure.
“Housing at the moment in Ballincollig is near to nothing. Every second day I get someone asking for help in finding a home."
Mr Canty, a former county councillor who was elected in May to the first new council of the extended city, said City Hall and County Hall need to do more to address the integration of their housing systems.
“I have a case of a person that wanted to downsize from a home in Dripsey and swap with a person in Ballincollig. Everything was signed and sealed until Ballincollig was transferred into the city and six months on the swap has not happened. It appears to be blocked.
“These people are still in limbo and neither party can get an answer from Cork City Council or Cork County County Council.
“There are many, many people in the same boat and it’s very, very frustrating.
“There are also many people on the county housing list who are looking for homes in Ballincollig that can’t access the Choice Based Letting system because they are not on the city housing list and vice versa.
“These people are being told they must stay within the bounds of their jurisdiction. I have raised this with the housing directors in both councils but there is no clear answer.
“Both councils knew this was coming down the tracks for the last four years. We should not still be in this situation - all the required staff are in situ,” Mr Canty added.