Residents of a Cork neighbourhood have taken part in a peaceful protest, following a meeting with the developer of a proposed 44-unit social housing development.
Residents of Lios Cara estate in Killeens near Blarney are calling for the developer of the project to “engage in meaningful dialogue”, which they say the developer is yet to do.
A total of 44 social housing units are to be built on the site, in addition to the existing 94 houses.
Residents have said they recently learned the original plan for 44 additional private dwellings in the next phase of their estate’s development has been changed to 100% social housing.
On Tuesday evening, a meeting of the Lios Cara residents and wider Killeens village area was held, and residents gave a clear mandate for the protest against the developer to proceed the following morning.
Following the meeting, the Lios Cara Residents Committee said the developer “has not engaged”.
Residents said the protest, which commenced at 7am on Wednesday, will “remain in place until meaningful engagement from the developer [is made]”.
In a statement seen by The Echo, the committee said residents would like to see all 44 units provided into the housing market, and to see a mixed development plan of social, affordable, and private to satisfy the needs of all.
Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent said he and his party colleague Kenneth Collins have been in touch with residents and will be staying in touch with them, and with Cork City Council on their behalf. They have arranged a meeting between the Lios Cara Residents Committee and Cork City Council officials next week, during which he said “residents voices need to be heard”.
"What we’re being told by the City Council is that contracts were signed for new housing to be constructed on the basis of social housing, so it’s set in stone from that regard,” said Mr Nugent. “But we feel that communication is important now, and also the outstanding issue in the estate itself, and how the new housing scheme will complement the existing estate and services and facilities that go with it.”
Independent councillor Ken O’Flynn said the protest is not about social housing, but about the lack of communication from the developer.
“This is a protest about serving the wider community and ensuring there is housing for all,” he said. “What we’re asking for here is a meeting with the developers to discuss promises and commitments that were made that are not being fulfilled at this particular time.”
Cork City Council and the developer have been contacted by The Echo.