Planning has been granted for enabling works which will pave the way for a massive housing project in Cork.
City councillors rubber-stamped the package of infrastructure works in and around the Council-owned and largely greenfield land-bank off the Old Whitechurch Road on the city’s northside during Monday’s council meeting.
The works, which include drainage, telecoms, power and road improvements, will help prime the site in the townland of Kilnap for housing, with council officials estimating the site could deliver at least 600 homes, many aimed at the affordable housing market.
Work to determine the mix and balance of house types is ongoing, and planning permission for the housing will be required. It could be another two years before construction starts on site.
Officials advertised the infrastructural work for public consultation last October and outlined the issues raised and the various responses at the council meeting on Monday. The works now sanctioned include:
Works are being mainly funded by the Government’s Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF).
During a wide-ranging debate on housing issues, the council’s director of services in the housing directorate, Brian Geaney, said officials have been working on the Whitechurch land proposal for some time and are “keen to get going”.
“We are keen now to get going and develop and deliver the infrastructure that's required to put the housing in place. The only way we can develop affordable housing is if it's subsidised. But where we are given support, we won’t be found wanting,” he said.
He pointed to council plans to deliver 147-units at Boherboy Rd in Mayfield - a project which was granted planning by An Bórd Pleanála last year.
The 13-acre site, south of the Glanmire end of the Old Youghal Rd, is just outside the current city boundary but is due to become part of the city under the boundary extension process. It will be one of the single largest local authority-led housing estate projects in the city in over a decade.