DEVELOPERS behind a proposal for a residential scheme in the heart of Ballincollig have lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála challenging Cork City Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the development.
Earlier this year, Kway Developments Limited submitted its second application for 16 residential units at a site at East Gate on Main Street in Ballincollig, where planning permission was refused in 2020.
City planners had rejected the initial planning application on the basis that the East Gate junction was already busy and experienced delays.
The revised plans also sought permission for the demolition of an existing house and all existing structures at the site in order to construct the same number of units — eight two-bedroom detached houses and eight two-bedroom townhouses.
Access to the site was to be via an upgraded pedestrian priority entrance off Main Street, which would have included an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing and upgrades to the public footpath on the southern side of Main Street along the site boundary.
In the design statement accompanying the planning application, it notes that a previous version of the design was refused permission due to concerns associated with the site access being located at a busy signalised junction.
“Subsequent engagement with the planning authority has led to an agreement in principle that the site’s location makes it suitable for a zero-parking approach.
“The previous scheme looked to minimise the impact of vehicular movements on the amenity space, so the elimination of all parking has been a natural move for the design approach already taken,” the statement continues.
In refusing the revised plans, Cork City Council noted that the application site adjoins East Gate junction — “one of the busiest in Cork City”.
The council also stated that “the proposed development would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard because of the vehicular conflict which it would generate on the adjoining road to the north of the site”.
A first-party appeal has now been lodged with the planning board in a bid to see the council’s decision overruled.
In the appeal report, which was prepared by HW Planning on behalf of Kway Developments Limited, it states that, despite policy support and “extensive, positive pre-planning discussions with the council’s personnel in the roads and environment and transport and mobility sections”, who “appeared to be fully in agreement” with the revised proposals, the application has again been refused.
“Kway Developments Limited are disappointed by this decision as they consider the omission of car parking from the proposed development has removed the necessity for any alterations to the existing junction,” the appeal report notes.
“The proposal will also result in public realm improvements to address the existing constraints of the pedestrian infrastructure along the northern boundary of the site along Main Street, where it is proposed to widen the pedestrian footpath and set back the building line to facilitate the future BusConnects sustainable transport corridor proposals.
“The pedestrian-focused scheme will also result in the removal of one of the two existing vehicular entrances on to Main Street,” the appeal report continues.
An Bord Pleanála is due to decide on the case by September 5.