TRAFFIC congestion, public safety, pollution, access for emergency services, height, privacy and an unmanageable population spurt are the concerns for the local residents about plans to redevelop the former Good Shepherd convent on the northside of the city.
Moneda Developments - a Dundalk firm - are planning 240 apartments on the 3.14-hectare site, a former convent that has been left empty since the mid-1990s.
A combination of one, two and three bedroom apartments are planned to house workers at the Hollyhill industrial estate and the development could take up to three years to complete.
Local residents met at Strawberry Hill Community Centre last night to discuss the plans ahead of the deadline for submissions on the proposals on March 20.
“The development is going to increase the population [of the area] by well over 100% with a minimum occupancy of 640 and maximum of 900," said local resident Andrew O’Sullivan.
“There is no public transport whatsoever in this area, the roads are deadly and heavily congested, to walk or cycle on the roads here is, frankly, a suicidal activity,” he added.
Sarah Byrne from Sunday’s Well described the development as “destructive for the spirit of the area” while Don Spicer said he was concerned no bedrock geological survey has taken place on the site and said the geological classification of the area is “fragile”.
Mr Spicer said: “We are calling for a bond to be taken out by the builder so that any damage done by water, soil or collapse of structures would be borne in full."
Pat O’Carroll of Blarney St said the height of the buildings, according to current plans, would invade on the privacy of some local residents.
Cathleen Bowen, chairperson of the Janemount and Buxton Hill Residents group, added that while residents are not against a redevelopment of the site, they are opposed to the plans as they currently stand.
“The size of the development is the big issue, there will be 674 beds added to that site, minimum. We already have huge traffic issues in the area that need to be dealt with outside of this development. We’ve had problems with traffic in Sunday’s Well long before this development and nobody has ever dealt with them. They need to be dealt with first,” she said.
“We’re not against development per se in the Good Shepherd. We do want development but we want appropriate development.”
Cork North West Cllr Kenneth Collins said only 25 apartments have been designated as social housing and they would be “not inclusive” and “hidden away".
The convent was put on the market in May 2016 and sold for €1.5m in October.