Ballyvolane scheme of over 750 units may be one of city's largest developments to date

Ballyvolane scheme of over 750 units may be one of city's largest developments to date

A major boost to housing stock on the northside of Cork city is in the pipeline under plans that will see hundreds of homes built in Ballyvolane.

Longview Estates Ltd is set to lodge its planning application with An Bord Pleanála today for permission to build 753 new units, including 278 semi-detached and 186 terraced homes, 153 apartments, 69 duplexes and 67 detached houses.

John Crean, Longview Estates representative, said they are targeting the family market.

The application is under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) initiative which allows planning applications for large projects to be fast-tracked, bypassing city and county councils.

Mr Crean said they hope to have a response from the board by the end of the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, with the aim of getting on site by the end of the year.

Longview Estates is seeking a 10-year planning application to provide for a phased delivery of approximately 80 units per annum.

Mr Crean said they envisage a seven to eight year building programme and that Longview Estates will remain part of the delivery process, working with building contractors.

The proposal also provides for parklands, community facilities, and a doctor’s surgery, and seven hectares are zoned for two schools, primary and secondary.

Mr Crean said the development will also include two shops and a creche that can cater for in the region of 100 children, and that these, together with a community room and the GP surgery, will be clustered in a community area during the second phase. The community room will be for general use, he said.

The parklands element is in line with a Cork City Council objective to provide a 20 hectare public park in the area, he said.

“We’ll put in the first three hectares of the park and we have a significant residual landbank that can accommodate the full 20 hectare park,” Mr Crean said.

He said they would be working with Irish Water to put in the necessary infrastructure.

The proposal also provides for new public transport initiatives and cycle lanes to be delivered over the lifetime of the project, with connectivity to existing networks.

Bus stops

The parklands element will provide a 20 hectare public park.
The parklands element will provide a 20 hectare public park.

Mr Crean said the initiative will include new bus stops on Ballyhooly Road and within the development itself, which will be divided into six distinct, architecturally designed neighbourhoods.

The site is situated on the eastern side of the Ballyhooly Road, opening up an area long earmarked for development by Cork County Council and now Cork City Council as the lands now form part of the city following the boundary extension.

Mr Crean said they acquired the land - 220 acres - in two tranches, starting in 2017. The development will take place on a south westerly facing hill and will offer panoramic views of the city to the south and the countryside to the north, according to Mr Crean.

The project has links with Temporis Capital, an investment fund that specialises in renewable energy and clean technology sectors. Carrigtwohill-based David Watson, a University College Cork graduate, is the company’s chief investment officer.

“This development will play a central role in opening up access to the wider Ballyvolane Urban Expansion Area, a vital part of Cork City’s development land bank and represents the first significant investment in major housing in Cork city’s Northside,” Mr Crean said.

Designed by Horgan Carroll Architects, MHL Consulting Engineers, Cunnane Stratton Reynolds Town Planners and Landscape Architects and other members of a multi disciplinary team, the proposal has been designed over the last 18 months and the aim is to deliver high quality energy efficient homes.

The proposal has been welcomed by both the Cork Chamber of Commerce and Cork City Council. Mr Crean said the input from both city and county councils had been positive.

He said the proposal to deliver public parkland as part of the initiative was ‘unique’.

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