COUNTY Councillors have described a proposed large-scale housing estate in Bishopstown as “off-the-wall”.
Developers Ardstone Homes applied to An Bord Pleanála, under the Strategic Housing Development legislation — which allows developers to bypass local authorities with projects that contain 100 houses or more — for planning permission to develop the large site on the Waterfall Road, in Ardarostig. Initial plans contained 258 homes and final plans may involve just 207.
Cork County Council officials raised several issues, including density, layout, public open spaces, connectivity to Bishopstown, and elevation of the site.
Councillor Derry Canty (FG) said: “This is totally off-the-wall, as far as I can see. We have been landed with maps and drawings, in relation to a proposed development out in the wilderness, which is connected to nothing. There are no proper roads and no proper infrastructure.
“I am totally against this and would send it back to be shredded, so they can come back with a better outline of what’s being proposed,” he added.
Daithí Ó Donnabháin (FF) said plans are similar to a housing development at Lehenaghmore, which needs multi-million euro infrastructure upgrades several years post-development.
“This is very similar to Lehenaghmore and, as my fellow councillors know, we have been looking for roads, footpaths, and street lights for the entire tenure of this council up there. This is off-the-wall stuff,” he added.
Deirdre Forde (FG) said that while there is a housing crisis, developments should be planned with the correct infrastructure and amenities to service the homes. “While we are short of houses, it comes back to sustainability and sense of place. Is this a place to live or just a place to put your head down? Invariably, people moving into the area will have families,” she added.
A County Council chief executive report on the development will be delivered by February 4, while public submissions close on January 14.