ALL options including the possibility of a judicial review will be explored as locals step up their efforts to block a housing development at the former Good Shepherd Convent site.
An Bord Pleanála last week announced it is upholding a City Hall planning decision that will see the construction of 202 apartments on the site.
The development provides for the conservation of the convent, orphanage and Magdalene buildings and their conversion into apartments. It includes four and five storey apartment blocks and a number of stand-alone buildings.
The current population in the vicinity of the site is in the region of 600 people and residents fear this will more than double under the plans.
The plans have met with strong local opposition.
Traffic congestion, public safety, pollution, access for emergency services, height, privacy and an unmanageable population spurt are among a number of concerns for local residents.
The Good Shepherd Community Action Group, which consists of a 12-person committee, met on Thursday night to discuss their next course of action and spokesperson Tom Coleman said the group is not yet ready to concede defeat on the matter which he has said will “decimate” the areas of Blarney Street, Sunday’s Well, Convent Avenue and Buxton Hill.
They will meet with local representatives on Tuesday and a public meeting will be held on October 11. Residents have repeatedly said they are not against development but claim the Good Shepherd development is not appropriate for the area.
“The decision that they came to was appalling. It will decimate the entire area,” said Mr Coleman.
“There are houses all around us on Blarney Street and Kerry Pike and there has been scant regard for the efforts the 12 people on our committee put in.
“There are spaces in the area where you could put houses but you could never get out because the infrastructure isn’t there.
“We only received the 50-page An Bord Pleanála inspector’s report on Thursday and we have to study that now. We will be meeting with our local councillors and TDs on Tuesday and we will hold a public meeting on October 11 at Strawberry Hill. It’s a very complex document and our appeal is also quite complex.
“All options will be open but the High Court route is very costly for a small community,” he added.
In An Bord Pleanála inspector Kevin Moore’s report, he noted that the development would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
“Having regard to the zoning provisions for the site as set out in the current Cork City Development Plan and to the design, character and layout of the development proposed, it is considered that the proposed development would not adversely affect the character and setting of the protected structures on the site, would not adversely impact on the residential amenities of adjoining properties, would be acceptable in terms of visual impact, would not endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard and would otherwise be in accordance with the provisions of the current Cork City Development Plan,” he said.