Vita Cortex site should be rezoned and used for social housing

Vita Cortex site should be rezoned and used for social housing

The Vita Cortex building on the Kinsale Road. The site has been idle since May 2012 after an arduous 139-day sit-in protest by staff members over the terms of redundancy paid by the former owner of the business. Picture: Denis Scannell

CITY Hall has been urged to issue a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on the former Vita Cortex site on the Kinsale Road and develop social or affordable housing on it.

The site has been idle since May 2012 after an arduous 139-day sit-in protest by staff members over the terms of redundancy paid by the former owner of the business.

Following the dispute, which gained national and international attention, the foam packaging company closed after several decades of operating in Cork.

There are ongoing discussions between City Hall and Kerrygold in relation to a private housing development at the nearby CMP dairy site.

Councillor Seán Martin (FF) said the area is in need of affordable and social housing and has asked City Hall officials to consider the former Vita Cortex site due to its proximity to infrastructure links and bus routes.

He urged officials to use a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) to force through a sale of the site.

“I am calling on City Council to CPO the site and come forward with plans for either an affordable or social housing,” he said.

“With the private development going on at CMP, and hopefully that will come to fruition with 10% social housing, the Council will have to rezone both sites because both are currently zoned for commercial use.

“The Vita Cortex site is causing problems in that it is a derelict site and there is a vacant site levy on it which is due for payment. There are two financial institutions involved but I have spoken to Council officials and have asked them to drive on and get the finances together to get this up and running.

“It’s a very sought after area close to the Tramore Valley Park, there is a new bus route which will be coming in the road which will hook up with new housing estates.

“City Hall officials are favourable enough to this but from a councillor’s perspective, there can be no waste of land. There is an opportunity there for us to rezone it for housing.

“We put the Vita Cortex site on the derelict sites register and now we need to approach the Minister and look for the funding to do something with it.

“Affordable housing is not happening at the moment and we need to do something.

“The site has been there for a few years and it’s time to push on with it,” he added.

The Vita Cortex site has previously been the subject of anti-social behaviour including vandalism, drinking and a fire was started there in 2016 before it was secured by the owners.

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