Concerns ministerial intervention in newly launched city development plan will impact housing delivery

The Construction Industry Federation has expressed concern at the potential reduction in the amount of land zoned for housing in the development plan.
Concerns ministerial intervention in newly launched city development plan will impact housing delivery

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Forde with Chief Executive of Cork City Council Ann Doherty and Fearghal Reidy, Director Of Services Strategic and Economic Development launch the Cork City Development Plan 2022-2028 ‘Our City Our Future’ at Bells Field in Cork’. Photo Darragh Kane

Cork City Council has officially launched its development plan for 2022-2028, which it heralds as a framework “to help shape the transformation of the City”, support a projected population increase of 50,000, and the creation of 30,000 jobs.

However concerns have been raised about the potential reduction in the amount of land zoned for housing in the plan, if a proposed intervention by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage goes ahead.

“Our City, Our Future - Cork City Development Plan 2022-2028” was launched by Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Deirdre Forde on Thursday, the first of three City Development Plans that will provide a framework to achieving a 50%-60% increase in population in Cork city by 2040.

The Lord Mayor thanked those who contributed to the 1,800 submissions received during public consultation, and said it was “truly the people’s plan”.

“This plan sets out how we can achieve the ambitions of the people of Cork, providing homes and jobs, making it a greener, more sustainable and more vibrant place to live in,” she said.

Cork Chamber have welcomed the city development plan, as a “key step to creating a sustainable future for the city” in accordance with Ireland 2040 and Cork’s recent designation to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber, said that the timely delivery of key transport projects such as Bus Connects, as well as elements like the 15-minute city, and regeneration of the South Docks, will “safeguard Cork’s competitiveness and attractiveness to a global workforce and continued investment”.

However the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Peter Burke has recently issued a draft direction to Cork City Council, which if finalised would require the council to amend its new development plan, reverting lands currently zoned for residential housing back to non-residential use.

The Construction Industry Federation has expressed concern at the potential reduction in the amount of land zoned for housing in the development plan.

Conor O'Connell, Director of Housing and Planning in the Construction Industry Federation, said that it is “vital” there is enough zoned and serviced land to hit housing targets.

“The proposed reductions in the amount of zoned residential land may ultimately increase the cost of land and housing delivery, at a time of significant inflationary pressures,” he said.

“In Cork alone between 2006 and 2016, the population increased by 100,000 people mainly in the City Metropolitan area. We need to cater for this by ensuring there is an adequate supply of zoned and serviced land,” he added.

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