MEETING the demand for housing in Cork should not be done at the expense of existing communities, residents have told a fiery public meeting in the South Parish this week.
The meeting was called to explore three separate council development plans on the south side of the city.
It is proposed to build up to 90 new homes at three sites at White Street, Barrack Street and High Street.
Planning applications have been lodged for the three developments with the public invited to make submissions or objections before June 14.
The design teams for the three projects presented the plans and information in the south central ward area, with members of the council’s Housing & Community Directorate in attendance along with city councillors Mick Finn, Fiona Kerins, Tom O’Driscoll, Chris O’Leary, Terry Shannon and Sean Martin who chaired the meeting.
“It was quite a heated and passionate meeting with residents from the three areas voicing concerns and opinions about the different projects,” Independent Cllr Mick Finn said.
“In relation to the Barrack Street proposal (32 units), the principal issue was the impact of a partial four-storey development on surrounding houses in terms of light, privacy and the lack of car spaces. The issues at High Street were predominantly based on the impact on 200-year-old historic houses and the negative impact on existing structures, views and privacy."
“The White Street plan - which would effectively remove the 90 spaces at the car park and an area already struggling with a parking deficit and replace it with housing to accommodate almost 100 people - was perhaps the most controversial of the three," Cllr Finn said.
Residents and traders said existing parking is at a premium and that any plans for the site should add to the area and not wreck it.
The scale and density of the proposal was also criticised, while the impact on the activities of the Community Centre was also highlighted.
Cllr Finn said that while the city is crying out for more housing, he urged that it must be balanced and planned for areas that can absorb developments.