CITY councillors have given the go-ahead to the construction of 35 new homes in a Mahon industrial estate after not one, but two controversial votes on the matter.
The development is focused on the former Hormann Electronics Site in the Mahon industrial estate and required elected members to approve the change of use for the site from industrial to residential.
35 homes are planned for the site, which is just minutes from Abtran and Voxpro.
The first vote rejected the change as it failed to reach the required two-thirds majority of 23 votes. However, officials deemed this vote to be invalid as one member had abstained from the vote.
Elected members were then asked to cast their vote a second time, with a number of councillors who had missed the initial vote now present in the chamber.
This time, it passed by 25 votes to 2, attaining the required majority as stipulated in the council's rules.
Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy voted against the proposal in both votes.
He slammed the decision to hold a second vote at the end of the meeting.
"We got it turned down at the first vote and then, as the meeting progressed, they rallied the troops. Phonecalls were made, councillors were brought back in and they came back for a second vote," Mr McCarthy said.
"I think it is scandalous. We ran a democratic vote and, just because it was the outcome that they didn't want, we ran again. The people who proposed it weren't here for the first vote so that is their own fault. I condemn the taking of a second vote."
Mr McCarthy said the development could have a negative impact in the area.
"In a micro-sense, what is proposed is interesting but it is in the middle of an industrial estate and I don't think that is sustainable," he said.
"Mahon is plagued by traffic problems and this will send out a precedent to other industrial estates in the area. There are days here where you can't move in traffic. The macro-picture is an issue for me."
Local councillor Terry Shannon welcomed the approval of the plan.
"The previous proposal for that plot of land was a truck-cleaning operation, which was at the back of a number of gardens," he said.
"This is one of a number of proposals for housing in the area, including the Bessboro lands, but this vote only pertains to this specific development.
"I consulted with residents and none sought to make a submission and many are pleased to see this development."
He conceded that traffic may be an issue in the area, but said that work is underway to tackle these problems.
"The work ongoing on the Skehard Road, for one, will go a long way towards solving these issues," Mr Shannon said.
"But in the context of the issues in the city with housing and homelessness, to vote against this proposal would be nonsensical."