PROPERTY development company BAM Property Limited has lodged a planning application for the development of over 700 new homes in East Cork.
The strategic housing development (SHD) application seeks permission for the construction of 716 residential units at Castlelake, Terrysland in Carrigtwohill.
However, the plans have sparked concerns from some councillors in the municipal district.
The proposed development would be made up of 224 houses, 284 duplex units, and 208 apartments provided in seven apartment blocks.
The apartment blocks would range in height from one to five storeys.
The apartments would also be a mix of one, two and three-bed units.
All blocks would contain ancillary internal and external resident amenity spaces, and the proposed development also provides for hard and soft landscaping including multi-use games areas (MUGAs), public realm works, car parking, bicycle stores and shelters, and other development works.
A two-storey creche also forms part of the plans.
In the design statement submitted as part of the application, it states that the application site comprises seven parcels of greenfield lands, totalling 18.3 hectares in size.
According to the statement, access to the development would be via the existing main distributor road system in Castlelake to the southwest, Station Road to the east, and the planned connector roads between these and the underpass to the north.
Speaking to The Echo, local Fine Gael councillor, Anthony Barry said he feels that Carrigtwohill has inadequate amenities to accommodate such a large residential development.
“There’s over 700 units [proposed to be developed] in a village that hasn’t got a library, hasn’t got a hotel, hasn’t got a swimming pool, hasn’t got proper youth services – therein I’d have huge concerns,” he said.
Mr Barry also expressed concerns that the potential prices of the new homes could also be prohibitive.
Green Party councillor in the municipal district, Alan O’Connor said he would take time to go through the plans properly before the submission date but that he had some initial concerns about the proposed development.
“Housing is welcome of course, and much needed. I’m one of those 30-40-year-olds who are still in the family home, for example.
“A 716-unit development would be an enormous addition to Carrigtwohill, and Carrigtwohill is particularly well-positioned for housing which is so badly needed.
“That said, development of any kind, but particularly at this scale, has to be done well, and there are elements of the design which I think are questionable,” he said.
Mr O’Connor said he believes the proposed development has too much of an emphasis on cars.
“We are at a critical juncture in terms of climate action, and going forward, development must be sustainable – more dense than previously, more compact, and with less space for cars,” he said.
“This site is so close to the railway station, to bus links, employment centres, and the town centre, it’s perfectly suited to the kind of new, more sustainable, urban rather than suburban development, we need to be moving towards,” he added.
A planning application for 277 units at a section of the proposed development site was previously granted by Cork County Council but the decision was subsequently overturned by An Bord Pleanála in 2018.
The board felt there was “poor disposition and quality of public communal open space”, providing “an inadequate standard of amenity for future occupants” and did not provide “an appropriate architectural design response for the site”.
In the planning statement for the new scheme it states that the proposed development has been “comprehensively redesigned to address the board’s previous concerns”.
It says that the application will allow for the completion of the Castlelake Masterplan over 20 years since its inception and will provide a “high quality residential community, which will enjoy excellent cycling and pedestrian links to Carrigtwohill Train Station and town centre”.
An Bord Pleanála is due to make a decision on the application by October 6.