Sunday's Well convent plans are amended

Sunday's Well convent plans are amended
The former Good Shepherd Convent, Sunday's Well. Picture: Denis Minihane.

Developers who want to build accommodation on the site of the Good Shepherd Convent have reduced the number of housing units from 234 to 208 but a local campaign group said this will have a “negligible” affect on traffic volumes.

Moneda Developments - a Dundalk firm - are planning to build apartments and houses on the 3.14-hectare site, a former convent that has been left empty since the mid-1990s.

The company had been given until January 17 to submit further information on a planning application to Cork City Council but they have returned the documents early with some concessions made.

Development consultants for the project Coakley O'Neill said the reduction in units was in line with planning frameworks and they have increased the number of parking spaces to 218 - meaning all units will now have a space.

The consultants say safe walking routes to Apple, UCC, the city and local primary schools are included in the plans and proposed pedestrian access via Buckston Hill has been removed, while the existing gate to the site will be widened to ensure two-way traffic flow.

Archaeologists were on site recently using Ground Penetrating Radar techniques to carry out a geophysical survey of the site which was previously a Mother and Baby Home.

Evidence of agricultural activity and garden archaeology were detected but Coakley O'Neill said the work had revealed: “that no artefacts, features, deposits, or remains of archaeological or cultural significance are identified within the proposed development site”.

However, they added that an “archaeological watching brief” is recommended as works continue.

The consultants added that the Magdalene burial ground located to the northwest of the site is outside of the boundary of the development and in separate ownership but said walking access to the graves would be maintained by the developers.

However, a community group who are concerned about the proposals believes the reduction in housing won't greatly affect traffic volumes.

Traffic congestion, public safety, pollution, access for emergency services, height, privacy and an unmanageable population spurt have all been raised in submissions by local residents to Cork City Council.

A spokesperson for the Community Action Group on the Good Shepherd Planning Application said the changes are “negligible”.

“We are very, very displeased,” they said.

“City Council is supposed to write to every person who objected or who made a submission and residents have yet to receive letters advising us of the changes. The developers have come back early and we have lost a week. Now we have only two weeks in which to make further submissions “We will be sending a letter to City Council asking for an extension. They granted developers three months of an extension and surely they can give us an extra week or two to come up with a response based on the developer's response,” they added.

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