A €7.4m plan to provide the infrastructure for up to 3,500 houses in Ballincollig has stalled, according to Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.
Last year, the Government announced the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) with the objective of providing public infrastructure to accelerate delivery of housing.
Cork County Council is progressing three LIHAF schemes in Glanmire/Dunkettle, Water Rock and Carrigaline. Thirty projects worth €195m have been approved across the country and are expected to add 20,000 homes to housing stock.
Over 28% of these are expected to be social or affordable homes with a further 28% having LIHAF-related cost reductions on their normal market values.
However, a project for Ballincollig providing 520 homes following the upgrade of local infrastructure, with the potential for 3,500 homes in the future, that was announced in March last year but has not progressed under phase 1 of LIHAF.
Eoghan Murphy said there were three successful schemes under LIHAF phase 1 in Midleton, Carrigaline and Glanmire.
“There were some particular issues with the Ballincollig bid. That meant the application could not be finalised when I was finalising the projects last year. It was not so much a problem with LIHAF 1 but a local problem that we could not get around at the time.
“The fact that we are standing down the possibility of LIHAF phase 2 does not mean we are standing down the possibility of those projects submitted to my Department for funding for the same scheme or for something similar. It is simply that they will now be under the urban regeneration and development fund or the rural regeneration and development fund,” he added.
Cork North Central TD Aindrias Moynihan said the need for houses in Ballincollig is rapidly increasing.
“Nowhere is the need greater in my area than in Ballincollig, where prices are continuing to drift up. At this stage, the average price for houses being sold in recent weeks has reached €308,000, up from €245,000 last year. There is tight demand for social housing,” he said.
“Housing needs to be made available. Phase 1 of the LIHAF was supposed to supply houses in the area. It was to provide over 500 houses initially and a further 3,000 afterwards. However, the project has stalled and is not being progressed,” he added.