Bishopstown decision ‘extremely tough’
Nearly 900 submissions were sent into City Hall about a controversial new housing development on Bishopstown Road.
The site near Hawkes Road will see more than 60 units built after councillors gave the project the green light on Monday after a lengthy discussion about it.
The units will be both social and affordable while others will be designed for downsizing. They will include four apartment buildings containing one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
There will also be 34 two-bedroom maisonettes and six of the units will be three-bedroom maisonettes, all two-storey.
City Hall officials said they took many of the submissions on board and there was a redesign to plans resulting in a reduction in the number of homes planned from 67 to 64 in order to accommodate the changes requested.
This redesign has also included the addition of four additional car parking spaces for the development.
A 60 page report furnished to councillors during Monday’s meeting Cork City Council said: “This proposed scheme will provide much needed homes under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness and will help contribute to dealing with the pent-up demand for housing in the city. The current level of demand for housing in the general Bishopstown area would indicate that all housing applicants both social and private view this area as a desirable place to live.
“The Housing Directorate intends making affordable homes available in a segment of the site to meet the significant demand for housing in the area. This proposed tenure composition is deemed a desirable mix and a sustainable and equitable solution in the circumstances.
“The density of the proposed scheme is consistent with the City Development Plan and all guidelines. There is no evidence to support that such a density will lead to anti-social behaviour,” the report said.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Fergal Dennehy said it was “extremely difficult” for him to make up his mind about it.
He added: “The 32 affordable houses are a huge opportunity for people living and working in the Bishopstown area who will finally manage to buy a property. There was in the region of 900 submissions which is an awful lot and shows that people genuinely care about their community.”
Fine Gael’s Garret Kelleher also praised the contribution made by the community, however he added there was a feeling amongst the community that some of their concerns were sufficiently addressed.
Cllr Kelleher said: “I feel some issues that were raised, which in my view were entirely legitimate, and weren’t adequately addressed and on that basis it’s my intention to vote against it.”
Sinn Féin Cllr Henry Cremin described it as a “tough job” for him to decide as he lives in the area.
He said he had issues with the amount of parking being provided and predicted that there would be a problem when it comes to allocation.
He added that the plan has been scrutinised and after he discussed it with his Sinn Féin colleagues, it was decided that they would vote in favour of it.
There were calls for a deferral of the vote which failed with 24 against and five for.
Councillors then voted in favour of the project by a margin of 24 votes for and five against.
57 units were also given approval nearby on the Old Mallow Road. The proposed works include the demolition of existing structures and the constructions of houses, duplexes and apartments.
Speaking about the plans for Blackpool, Chief Executive Ann Doherty said: “The proposed schemes will provide much needed homes under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness and will help contribute to dealing with the pent-up demand for housing in the city.”