RESIDENTS in Sunday’s Well are waiting to hear about the State’s plans for the former St Kevin’s building that was destroyed in a fire in 2017.
It was revealed by The Echo in July that the site had been purchased by the Land Development Agency (LDA), and residents and councillors were promised a meeting in the autumn to discuss proposals for the site.
City Hall director of housing Brian Geaney has now confirmed that the meeting is due to take place this month but that it could be delayed until January.
The iconic red-brick St Kevin’s Hospital, overlooking Lee Road, is in the ownership of the LDA after it was put up for sale by the HSE for €2.95m. Details of the deal to acquire the 14-acre site have not been made public.
The Echo understands that a team appointed by the LDA has been advancing proposals for a planning application to be lodged in the near future. The LDA was set up last year with the promise it would build 150,000 homes over 20 years using State land.
There are already warnings that residents in Sunday’s Well and Shanakiel need to be consulted on the housing and infrastructure project to avoid a public backlash.
Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Fitzgerald has said that, following public outrage around lack of infrastructure to support a 200-unit housing development at the Good Shepherd Convent, locals should have input into plans at St Kevin’s.
A fire in July 2017 gutted the St Kevin’s building with numerous smaller fires and instances of antisocial behaviour reported since.
The site borders Shanakiel, Sunday’s Well, Blarney Road, and the Lee Road, and concerns have been raised that a housing development will not be matched by proper infrastructure.
Mr Fitzgerald urged that the meeting with residents should take place as soon as possible to allay about the effect of development on traffic congestion.
There have also been calls for the Government to hand the lands over to Cork City Council, but it is understood that proposals are subject to the wider State requirement of 10% for social housing and 30% for affordable homes on such sites.
The St Kevin’s site is believed to be part of a tranche of housing at three sites that are being prioritised.