75-house estate in Little Island is refused planning permission as the site can hold much more homes

75-house estate in Little Island is refused planning permission as the site can hold much more homes
Planners said the site at Courtstown, Little Island could hold many more homes than what is proposed and therefore refused planning permission. Pic: Tom Coakley

PLANNING permission for a 75-home and créche development in Little Island has been refused by An Bord Pleanála because not enough houses were to be built.

The development was deemed to not provide enough density with less than 20 homes per hectare to be provided at Courtstown which is classed as “serviceable land” with “no known infrastructure constraints”.

Cork County Council had originally refused permission for the project in March on the basis that it would not provide a “satisfactory solution for the delivery of housing on the site” and would represent “piecemeal development”.

The refusal had sparked anger from local councillors with Pádraig O’Sullivan describing it as “very disappointing”.

Planning inspector Kevin Moore echoed the decision of County Hall planners and refused permission stating: “This is an excessively low density of development on serviceable land, in a ‘main town’ that is a ‘Strategic Employment Area’, that has no known infrastructure constraints, and that is served well by road and rail.

“This density of development should not be facilitated as it is well below minimum densities set out in national guidance,” he added.

The proposed development by Ruden Homes Ltd would have comprised of 75 houses and a crèche, featuring 23 four-bedroom, two-storey, detached houses, 30 four-bedroom, two-storey, semi-detached houses, and 22 three-bedroom, two-storey, semi-detached units.

The crèche would have been a two-storey, detached structure located at the south-eastern end of the site with access off a cul-de-sac and with its independent parking and open space and play area.

Mr Moore said the development application was not an efficient use of land and in constriction of guidelines on densities.

“Having regard to the proposed density of the development, at less than 20 dwelling units per hectare, it is considered that the proposed development would not be developed at a sufficiently high density to provide for an acceptable efficiency in serviceable land usage given the proximity of the site to the built-up area of Little Island and to established social and community services in the immediate vicinity.

“Furthermore, it is considered that such a low density would be contrary to the Ministerial Guidelines, which indicate that net densities less than 30 dwellings per hectare should generally be discouraged in the interest of land efficiency. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” Mr Moore added.

The original planning application for the development was submitted in 2017.

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