COUNCILLORS have urged that the correct access and infrastructure are put in place after developers indicated they will “immediately” begin work on a project that could deliver up to 500 homes near Douglas.
In a trading update to the London Stock Exchange, Irish developer Glenveagh Properties indicated they plan to begin work on a 43-acre site they acquired from a Nama- appointed receiver south of Maryborough Ridge at Moneygourney for €25m.
Planning permission exists for a 19-acre lot of the site for 198 houses. The remaining acres will be deferred until the first round of houses are delivered.
Permission was granted for the homes in 2017 and includes a créche, footpaths and cycle lanes, bus stop, foul and stormwater drainage, boundary treatments, landscaping and amenity areas and the removal of existing electricity transformer/substation and construction of new electricity substation.
Cllr Deirdre Forde (FG) has concerns about vehicular access for residents and the volumes of traffic that will be increased along Maryborough Hill.
The site is adjacent to the N28 and close to the already heavily populated areas of Mount Oval, Maryborough Ridge and Broadale where many residents commute to Douglas, the city and Mahon for work daily.
“There is an issue regarding the entrance to Broadale estate,” said Ms Forde. “The entrance to Maryborough Ridge has been narrowed due to work being carried out. Residents feel this is going to cause severe delays when people go back to work. If the current volume of traffic on the hill can cause this much of a problem, I dread to think what a further 200-plus houses are going to cause.”
“We need to know where the exits and entrance are. The whole thrust of Government policy is to build houses where there are buses and cycle lanes and it is fully in line with that but I have no doubt it will put extra pressure on Maryborough Hill. If they are granting planning permission for these houses, public transport is going to have to up its game. Otherwise, it will just be gridlock.
“We are under severe pressure to deliver houses. People are crying out for them but the problem is that infrastructure needs to be upgraded to ensure there is sufficient public transport and people feel they can leave their cars at home,” she added.
Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) said other large-scale developments in the area have not contained the correct infrastructure.
“We have already seen two applications under the Strategic Housing Development system in our municipal district, one in the Grange area and the other in Curraheen. Unfortunately, in both cases, the plans did not include adequate investment in local infrastructure or services. Also, in both applications, the density and form of development were not appropriate. We all appreciate the need for housing, but reasonable planning considerations must be adhered to and upheld. Specific proposals for this site are not available yet, but the exact same issues will be relevant in terms of infrastructure and the need for adequate services/amenities,” he added.
Workers’ Party city representative Ted Tynan, said that the sale of the site to Glenveagh by Nama, was “the wrong decision”. He said Nama should instead be instructed by the Government to make significant land banks available to local authorities.