TÁNAISTE Simon Coveney has called for higher density housing plans for Cork to meet the needs of a growing population and to tackle housing shortages.
Mr Coveney said that high density and affordable housing is urgently needed in Cork to sustain planned growth.
The population of Cork city and county is forecast to increase by 50-60% in the coming decades. Significant industrial and infrastructural investment is planned to supplement this growth.
According to the Tánaiste, high quality and high-density housing plans are needed to help Cork meet its potential.
Last week, the government unveiled its €1.25 billion Land Development Agency, aimed at motivating house-building on state-owned and under-utilised land.
This plan is designed to deliver thousands of new homes, including a significant number in Cork.
Mr Coveney confirmed that housing is ‘the number one priority’ ahead of the upcoming budget and said that more is needed as growth accelerates.
“If you look at the housing output in Cork, things are accelerating quite quickly. We are not where we need to be yet in terms of output in Cork. We are planning for an increase in the city of 50% to 60%. That requires a lot of housing,” he said.
“That needs to be high quality and, in my view, higher density. We need to be focusing on the city centre and, particularly, both docklands north and south.”
The Tánaiste said the docks area has the potential for a new town within the city. “We are going to see Tivoli, for example, which is currently a container storage terminal becoming the equivalent of Blackrock,” he said.
“It will be a whole new town and village. Likewise Horgan’s Quay and the huge space between Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the city centre, where we are already starting to see projects moving ahead there.
“With that kind of ambition, you also need a very ambitious plan for housing so that people can afford to live and work in the city centre, which is the way Cork city needs to develop as a sustainable city centre and I am very focused on that as is City Hall.”