Work stopped after gardaí called to site of disputed housing project on outskirts of Cork city

Work stopped after gardaí called to site of disputed housing project on outskirts of Cork city

Artist impressions of the refused development of 150 residential units in Monacnapa, Blarney.

THE Gardaí were called to Sunberry Estate in Blarney this morning after construction workers arrived at a site where planning permission for a large development has been refused.

Members of the gardaí were contacted by a concerned local group, the Sunberry Residents Group, who claimed the work being carried out was ‘non-essential’ work and against current Level 5 restrictions.

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána told The Echo that all work has now ceased on the site.

“The workers have stopped. There was no issue with them. As soon as they were told to down tools they 100% complied. They had no objection. We will see if there is any potential breach of the Health Act and take it from there.” 

Previously permission had been refused for a large-scale strategic housing development (SHD) in Blarney in December 2020.

An application was made to An Bord Pleanála for permission to construct 150 residential units, 112 houses and 38 apartments, and a childcare facility at Monacnapa. The 150 units were to be divided into ten one-bed; 36 two-bed; 77 three-bed; and 27 four-bed units.

Of the 112 houses one was to be detached; 50 were to be semi-detached; and 61 terraced units, along with the 38 apartments.

Local residents of Sunberry Drive and Sunberry Heights had highlighted concerns with the proposals as they feared the proposed development would undermine the “long-standing quiet residential nature” of the estate, while also highlighting access and design issues.

Denis O’Donovan, who is the acting secretary of the Sunberry Residents Group, said he was very disappointed to see activity on the site this morning. 

“A trailer with a digger came on site," he said.  

“It was disappointing to see them working away. There were two of them working on machinery. 

"We have residents who have lost jobs and people who can’t go out to work,” he added.

Cllr Damian Boylan said he agreed with the Sunberry Residents Group: “I don’t see how it is essential because, in my opinion, essential construction is finishing social housing and education facilities sites designated as essential by Department of Education and essential health and related projects among others. This work doesn’t appear to fall into that category. 

"I’m hoping common sense will prevail and communication lines will stay open,” he said.

The Echo have been unable to contact the developer to confirm the nature of the activity which the workers were there to do.

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