More than 400 observations have been made on a controversial housing planning application in Montenotte ahead of Thursday’s closing date, The Echo understands.
Construction company Murnane O’Shea Ltd has submitted an application to build 54 homes to be managed by an approved housing body on the grounds of St Dominic’s on Middle Glanmire Road in Montenotte.
Cork City Council is to acquire the new-build homes for social housing.
The homes are to be built on a 2.1-hectare site between a residential area and the St Dominic’s Institute and Retreat.
The application will change permission for 41 private homes originally granted on the site to a higher density social housing project.
Because the planning permission already exists, an objection cannot be taken to An Bord Pleanála by residents.
A recently established residents' committee has raised concerns over the road infrastructure, water mains access, the ecological impact of the homes and the planning process.
The committee met with City Hall housing director Brian Geaney this week where they were told the development will proceed if councillors vote it through and developers could be on-site within a matter of months.
In a statement to The Echo, Mr Geaney said: “The public consultation process is still underway and ends on the 5th December. A report will be prepared in response to the submissions and it is envisaged that the Members of Council will consider same at the Council meeting in January. The council cannot make any comment at this stage on the number of submissions received.”
However, residents now want the process to be paused and a longer public consultation to take place.
A spokesperson for the residents’ committee told The Echo that they feel they have “fobbed off”.
“The concerns of the local community are not being addressed. There is no issue with social housing but there are bigger issues in the local area. There are no services or infrastructure. There are no playgrounds. The layout of the development has no open or green space for kids to play in so they are going to be wandering all over the road.
“It’s appalling what they are doing and they just won’t listen. The residents feel they are being steamrolled. To say that Montenotte is against it on the grounds of social housing is a farce. Sixteen councillors of the 31 elected can raise their hands and it will pass through and if that happens the infrastructure will fail, the already struggling ecosystem will collapse and the local residents will be left to deal with the consequences.
“Our fear is that they will look at the observations, make minor alterations and proceed without addressing the larger issues.
“We just want the process to be paused so everything can be teased out, that’s all,” the spokesperson added.
The planning application has become the subject of a political row with opposition parties accusing Fine Gael of trying to stop social housing in order to gain favour with voters in the Montenotte area ahead of the forthcoming General Election.