Major housing scheme in Cobh is shot down

Major housing scheme in Cobh is shot down
The town of Cobh.Pic: Larry Cummins.

PLANNING permission has been refused for a large scale housing development in Cobh due to a lack of infrastructure.

An Bord Pleanála has decided the scheme in Ballyleary, Cobh, for 311 residential units cannot go ahead after accepting its inspector’s recommendation. A previous application for 210 residential units on the site was delayed by the board’s inspector who had cited issues regarding infrastructure and connectivity, as well as the density of the development, the design, layout and unit mix and the amount of public open space available.

In the latest application, Geaney Property Developments had applied through the Government’s Strategic Housing Development scheme, requesting ten-year permission that would allow 311 housing units and a creche site and boundary treatments - including the widening of Ballyleary Road - and all other associated ancillary development works.

In recommending refusal, board inspector Una Crosse said the planning application was “contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area”.

The development was scheduled to be built on a phased basis and would have contained 146 houses and 165 apartments — allowing Geaney to apply directly to the planning authority and bypass Cork County Council, as it exceeds 100 houses.

Councillor Sinead Sheppard (FG) said the refusal of the project was the right decision. “It has been refused on the same issues that public reps have raised. There isn’t the right infrastructure there to support a housing development of this size.

“There are people living there all their lives that have put in applications for one-off planning and they have been refused. The island needs a huge amount of capital investment. We need housing in Cobh but it needs to be right for the area. Well done to the residents of Ballyleary who had come together for their work on this,” Ms Sheppard added.

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla (IND) said the decision highlights the need for infrastructure improvements in Cobh and the Great Island area.

“Engineers and planners from County Hall should do drawings and design plans with new road access onto Great Island and improve the road structure.”

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