LORD Mayor John Sheehan said he is hopeful construction work for 80 homes on the site of the Sunbeam Industrial Estate will start before the end of the year following a blaze at the weekend.
Respond Housing Association is set to deliver 36 three-bed, 38 two-bed and six one-bed social housing units at Redforge Road, on the old Sunbeam site, to be built by HRP construction.
Councillors have called for the development to happen as soon as possible after up to 30 members of the Cork City Fire Brigade battled a fire at a derelict building on the site on Redforge Road after a suspected arson incident on Sunday night.
Lord Mayor Sheehan said: “The development is on a slightly different part of the site to where the fire broke out but it needs to be developed or these fires will just keep happening.
“It’s a massive site and there are other derelict buildings but there is planning and funding in place for Respond. This would allow one part of the state to be developed but a lot more needs to be done. The more the site is used and more things are brought into it, the better,” Lord Mayor Sheehan added.
Councillor Ken O’Flynn (FF) said he is anxious to see the site developed to prevent further issues at derelict buildings on the complex which have been the scene of repeated fires.
“Planning has been granted and funds have been drawn down. We’re expecting that site to be developed by the end of the year. There has been a delay,” he told The Echo.
“The Sunbeam has been affected by the Government holding on to money that was allocated to projects like this and a failure to move quickly to allow people to develop projects.
“The only way to stop the constant fires at the Sunbeam is to knock it and build on the land. It’s an awful shame because a lot of people have very happy memories in that building but enough is enough and we just want it knocked and redeveloped,” Mr O’Flynn added.
Thomas Gould (SF) has advocated for development on the site and welcomes the Respond project but has cautioned that it must start soon.
"I'm all for the development but it must start as soon as it possibly can. The local community is putting up with fires here all the time and they don't deserve smoke billowing out of the site anymore," Mr Gould added.