A MAJOR housing and retail project in Passage West has been given the go-ahead by Cork County Council.
A development has been granted planning permission at St Mary’s Convent and National School which has been derelict for a number of years, with local representatives identifying the site as key to tackling dereliction issues in the town.
It's the second significant announcement in the harbour town in the last week with €1.8m allocated to Cork County Council under the Urban and Regeneration Development Fund to pursue the purchase of the local dockyard for regeneration.
At the convent site, Clyda Eco Homes Ltd plans to demolish the former school buildings and outbuildings and to build 18 apartments and 18 semi-detached houses on the convent grounds with an entrance to the south of the site on what is known locally as the Back Road to the town’s Main Street.
The developers also want to build a gym over two floors, retail units, offices and 17 further apartments at Chapel Square.
A planning application was originally submitted in December last year and Councillor Seamus McGrath (FF) said the granting of permission is a huge positive for Passage.
“It's been a very interesting week for Passage West with the allocation of funding for the dockyard and now the positive planning permission given for the redevelopment of the former convent site," he told the Evening Echo.
"Both of those sites are in very prominent positions in the town and they have detracted from the town centre for many years.
“It's coincidental that good news has come on both in the same week and I would look forward to seeing the former convent site developed in the near future. It will be a new modern building in the heart of the town and that is very positive for Passage and will hopefully lead to a certain momentum and can partner with the regeneration of the dockyard into the future,” he added.
The development will also include 18 domestic bin stores to serve apartments in the convent building along with construction of a bin store to the southeastern side of the convent building. The development will provide for 54 car parking spaces.