A CORK Senator has branded the objection by Cork City Council to a 600-unit housing development in Glanmire “petty politics” and has urged the two local authorities to work more closely to solve the county’s housing crisis.
O’Flynn Construction went straight to An Bord Pleanála in a move to hasten a €150 million development for 600 houses and apartments at Ballinglanna, along with a school, retail units and community facilities 20km from the city centre.
If approval is granted, the project will include 608 new units, including 112 apartments and a mix of 496 2-, 3- and 4-bed houses on a 31.5 hectare site with 1.2 acres are set aside for a 16-classroom school.
However, Cork City Council has sent a four-page submission to An Bord Pleanála which states the density of 30 units to a hectare is not enough to justify a bus route to the area and local roads and infrastructure would have to be updated before the development starts.
Senator Tim Lombard has said the submission is bizarre given the county is in the middle of a housing crisis and has called on the local authorities to start working together ahead of a boundary extension in May 2019 which will see large areas of the county such as Ballincollig and Douglas brought in to the city.
“The lack of joined-up thinking between the two local authorities in Cork is a major issue which has again been highlighted,” said Mr Lombard. “Where is the joined-up thinking? What is the future for Cork if one local authority is objecting to an application for planning permission in another local authority area?
“The development of more than 600 units is badly needed in that area and has been put forward for strategic funding for social housing by the Government, yet the local authorities are playing petty politics, which is inappropriate. Local authorities in Cork need to work together rather than object to each other’s proposals.
“Transport Infrastructure Ireland has no issue with the development but the city council is objecting to its planning permission. [Minister for Housing and Local Government] Eoghan Murphy, must get involved in such issues in Cork and ensure he knocks heads together in order to avoid situations such as this, where one local authority is objecting to planning permission in another local authority area,” he added.
A decision on the development is due in April.