High-density tower-block residential scheme in Cork city gets green light

The 15-storey tower is one of 11 blocks containing 609 dwellings on a site located on the former CMP Dairies site on Kinsale Road, Cork and includes 257 ‘build to rent’ apartments.
High-density tower-block residential scheme in Cork city gets green light

Gordon Deegan

An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to dairy giant, Dairygold for a €237 million residential scheme that includes a 15-storey landmark tower on the southern central suburbs of Cork city.

The 15-storey tower is one of 11 blocks containing 609 dwellings on a site located on the former CMP Dairies site on Kinsale Road, Cork and includes 257 ‘build to rent’ apartments.

The ‘Creamfields’ scheme by Dairygold subsidiary Watfore Ltd is made up of 189 one bed dwellings; 338 two bed dwellings; 48 three bed dwellings and 34 four bed homes.

The scheme also includes retail use, a creche, a coffee kiosk and a gym.

Vacant nature of site

In April, the Cork-based Dairygold announced record revenues of €1.17 billion for 2021 and now the appeals board has granted planning permission for the Dairygold apartment scheme after board inspector, Elaine Power concluded that the proposed development "would largely have a positive impact due to the current vacant nature of the site and the high quality of the scheme which would aid with placemaking”.

In a further endorsement of the scheme, Ms Power also stated that the proposal “is not monolithic and is 12 blocks of varying heights and scales”.

On the build to rent component of the scheme, Ms Power concluded that it is appropriate in this instance as it would provide an additional housing tenure in the wider area, having regard to the site’s close proximity to the city centre and large employment and education centres, services, and facilities and to public transport.

In order to comply with its Part V social housing obligations, the developers are proposing to lease to Cork City Council 122 units.

Cork City Council recommended that planning permission be granted after stating that the scheme is to be welcomed as the first mixed use and high density development to be proposed in this area of the city.

The Council stated that the redevelopment of the site will act as a catalyst development for the new residential neighbourhood in this locality and will make a significant contribution to addressing housing shortage in the city.

A planning report lodged by the applicants with the ‘fast track’ application states that the proposal presents an opportunity “to entirely reinvigorate and bring back into use a large, vacant, underutilised brownfield site within the existing footprint of Cork City”.

The planning report by Coakley O'Neill Town Planning states that the scheme will deliver a transformative, high-density, mixed-use, primarily residential development at a key entrance to Cork City that can serve as a flagship project to stimulate the regeneration of the surrounding area.

Coakley O’Neill Town Planning further state that the scheme also has significant potential to deliver a distinctive, contemporary, compact new inner suburban neighbourhood defined by a landmark tall building that will make a positive contribution to the urban character of the area as well as to the city as a whole”.

In its decision to grant planning permission, the appeals board stated that the scheme would be acceptable in terms of design, height and quantum of development.

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