Knocknaheeny must get more than houses

Knocknaheeny must get more than houses

Apartments and houses under construction off Harbour View Road as part of the City Northwest Quarter Regeneration. Pic/Video; Larry Cummins

KNOCKNAHEENY'S regeneration needs to be about more than 'knocking down and building houses', a local councillor has warned.

Mick Nugent has urged Cork City Council to put a greater focus on the recreational and social aspects of the scheme in upcoming phases.

The entire north-west of the city is enjoying a lift as the multi-million euro scheme takes shape.

Almost 30 homes will be completed by the end of the summer, with attentions turning to later stages in the coming months.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney unveiled a €10 million injection of funding last week, increasing the total number of units set to be constructed under the next phase.

While Mr Nugent welcomed the addition of extra units, he said that the growing population needs better facilities in the community.

The masterplan for the regeneration includes references to an 'active recreational area', with the Sinn Féin councillor calling for this to be made a priority.

"The social and economic aspects of regeneration are as important as knocking down and building houses," he said.

"There is a lack of such facilities in the community in Knocknaheeny and as the population grows, this could be an issue."

The population in Knocknaheeny and nearby Kerry Pike is set to increase significantly in the coming years as a result of several large housing developments.

"These people will be looking for parks and recreational areas," Mr Nugent said.

"There are pockets of parks in the estates, but there is no central, community park."

A green area on Kilmore Road, across from the existing Kilmore Park, has been earmarked for recreational space, with Mr Nugent suggesting that it would be ideal for a regional park.

"Some other capital projects in the city are receiving funding now so I would be hopeful that the city would consider this area for development too," he said.

"Knocknaheeny is crying out for all-weather pitches and playing pitches."

The Sinn Féin councillor pointed to the recent successes of Knocknaheeny Celtic as an example of what can be achieved in the area.

The soccer team wrapped up its second consecutive AUL Premier League title in recent weeks.

The club plays in Kilmore Park, a public amenity that was frequently targeted by vandals in recent years.

Mr Nugent said it is lacking in toilets, running water and proper changing facilities.

"The club deserves better and the community deserves better," he said.

"We need to start putting recreational needs front and centre. This regeneration isn't just about building houses, it's about building a community."

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