THE CONDITIONAL grant of permission for around 600 apartments at the old CMP site has been hailed as having “the potential to deliver much-needed housing within reach of the city centre”.
Subject to 30 conditions, Watfore Limited, the property management and development subsidiary of the site owners Dairygold, was granted permission for the strategic housing development (SHD) at the site, known as Creamfields, located at the corner of Kinsale Road and the Tramore Road.
The developers had initially applied for permission for 609 residential dwellings, however, some of the conditions attached will mean the loss of a small number of apartments from different blocks of the development.
Cork Chamber has welcomed the grant of permission and praised Dairygold’s ambition to create housing.
“This granting of planning permission is very positive, and the ambition of Dairygold to develop this brownfield site has the potential to deliver much-needed housing within reach of the city centre,” said Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy.
He said that with the supply of quality housing now at a “crisis level”, the government must remain highly focused on supporting commercial ambition to address the pent-up demand in the city region.
“The delivery of sustainable urban apartment developments is essential to meet demand for housing and to deliver objectives under the National Planning Framework, especially for compact development and densification of Ireland’s cities,” he added.
Mr Healy highlighted that a number of apartment developments, which have been granted planning permission across the city, have not gone ahead “because of issues around viability and affordability, which remain unaddressed and unresolved”.
The Cork Chamber CEO continued: “The Croí Cónaithe Fund, part of the Housing for All strategy, has gone some way to addressing these challenges, but much more needs to be done to address these urgent issues.”
Mr Healy warned that Cork may lose out, should housing targets not be delivered upon.
“Government must act now, and take significant steps to enable the private sector to deliver housing.
“If Ireland fails to deliver on its housing commitments, with Cork projected to grow rapidly to 2040, we will suffer as a city and lose out on investment and jobs to international competitors,” he said.
“There is an opportunity for more joined up thinking and greater collaboration between public and private sector to address the housing needs of our community, and ensure timely delivery of the plans and ambitions that already exist,” Mr Healy concluded.
The CMP site closed in 2006 and all buildings were subsequently cleared.
Since then the site has remained largely idle, although it has been used occasionally to host a temporary funfair.
The site was rezoned from “light industry and related uses” to “residential, local services and institutional uses” by Cork City Council in 2019.
Last year, Watfore Limited had been at pre-application consultation stage for an SHD proposal comprising 706 apartments, and a childcare facility, at the same site.
However, the plans had to be amended before a formal application could be made, as An Bord Pleanála stated that the proposed development required “further consideration/amendment”.