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Go ahead for Montenotte housing

Wednesday, 12th February, 2020 4:14pm

A controversial housing project with nearly 200 submission was given the green light this week.

Residents had concerns about the original plan which would have seen 100 per cent public housing built on a site on the Middle Glanmire Road. However, City Hall said it listened to those concerns and changed the plan to a social and affordable housing project.

The Montenotte development will see 54 houses built. Eight of theses will be two-bedroom, two-storey houses, 41 will be three-bed, two-storey houses while the remaining five will be four-bedroom, two-storey houses.

City Hall received 196 submissions about the original plan while there was much debate locally and in the media about it.

Head of Housing at Cork City Council, Brian Geaney, said the new project 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 on Leeside.

Fine Gael Cllr Joe Kavanagh said that what residents wanted was a mix of housing which was reflected in the submissions.

“There was a lot of public engagement over the past few months in terms of public meetings and very intense public consultation. It attracted a lot of publicity on social media, in local and national media and there was a lot of mixed messaging out there from certain people and it got quite nasty and heated at times because of this misinformation.

“Residents didn’t have a problem with housing, the problem they had was the one type of housing. They wanted a mixed tenure of housing on the site.”

Green Party Cllr Oliver Moran also said that the planning application generated a lot of public debate, adding that some was unwelcome while some were helpful.

He supported the mixed tenure project saying that it appropriate for the needs of the area. However, he and Cllr Fiona Ryan (Solidarity) questioned what would happen if the affordable houses didn’t sell.

Mr Geany said, that in this case, it will be brought to councillors to decide what to do with them.

Cllr Kavanagh told the Cork Independent, however that he predicts they will all be sold given the amount of phone calls and questions he has received about the affordable homes.

Workers Party Cllr Ted Tynan said he was disappointed that it was 100 per cent public housing but supported the project as did Cllr Ryan who said that that 100 per cent public housing would have been better on balance.

Fianna Fáil’s Fergal Dennehy said that having a mixed tenure like this should be looked at for all future developments.

Labour Cllr John Maher welcomed the 50/50 split adding that social housing has got a bad name which he said was wrong.

“It’s not a bad word, it’s not a bad thing,” he added.

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