€10m social housing plan for former company HQ in Cork

€10m social housing plan for former company HQ in Cork
An aerial view of the former Springville House.

Plans to convert a 1960s office block in one of Cork's most desirable residential areas into a €10m social housing scheme have been unveiled.

Cork City Council has published a Part 8 planning application today seeking permission to adapt and extend the former Springville House in Blackrock, and then change its use to facilitate the development of 35 residential units within the fabric of the existing office building.

The plans are open for public consultation until May 13.

The prime 0.6-acre site on the city's Blackrock Rd, close to Ashton School and the South Link Rd.

Homes in the area regularly fetch prices at the upper end of the market.

The site contains the almost 17,600 sq ft former headquarters of Pettit Consulting Engineers, which was acquired by Mott McDonald in 2006.

More recently it served as the offices of the ill-fated Cape Verde Development operation.

The site was the subject of two residential planning applications in previous years - one for 29 apartments, seven townhouses and 40 parking spaces and another for 24 apartments, five townhouses and 41 parking spaces - both of which were appealed was granted, then appealed to An Bord Pleanala and subjected shot down.

The site was offered for sale in 2017 and was acquired by developers MMD Construction, who will deliver the scheme under the terms of a project agreement with the local authority.

In Part 8 published today, Cork City Council has sought permission for a change of use of Springville House from an existing multi-storey office building to a modern residential accommodation scheme.

The development will consist of a four-floor over basement apartment building and two storey semi-detached houses.

It will require an extension to the former office block to deliver 35 residential units to include:

  • Four three-bedroom semi-detached two-storey houses
  • One three-bedroom apartment
  • 14 two-bedroom apartments
  • 16 one-bedroom apartments

It is proposed to maintain main access to the site through the Bull’s Lane cul-de-sac.

The city's head of housing, Brian Geaney, described the scheme as a novel approach, using an existing office building to deliver social housing.

And if approved, he said it would be a significant addition to the city's housing stock in that part of the city.

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