THERE was an old teacher’s comparison for the geography of Cork city — a saucer-shaped valley with hills ranged around the city.
In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the northern hills were the preferred place to live.
High, dry and out of the city’s hollow, the south-facing location made a difference in terms of warmth in an era before central heating. Early sustainability.
In the last century, the push outwards saw a 1960s colonisation of the north-western boundary, where big houses on big sites were the favoured ‘rus in urbs’ response.
The string of large houses at Clogheen are a case in point and one of these, The Heights, is now up for sale. A rare market entry in a discreet, but accessible rural location, this detached house fits solidly into consultant buyer territory.
Clogheen is minutes from the city’s hospitals and is a prime westerly hunting ground for medical families. In fact, The Heights was built in the 1960s by a medical couple who raised their family in freedom and fresh air there, thanks to the large, 0.7 acre site.
The house is big too — around 2,000 square feet with five bedrooms and the picture windows are of its time, but by todays standards, it could be improved.
Nicely decorated and clean and tidy, it hasn’t been lived in for a while and there is that feeling of stillness when you enter the property. However, the site, the size and the light, along with the location, makes this a very special package, especially when it’s considered how strongly policed the area is in terms of planning.
This is Cork’s Green Belt, a principle of planning policy enshrined in the 1970s and beloved of the County Council. The right to build on land around the city comes down to strict criteria and the only way to live here, if you weren’t born in the area, is to buy.
Which is why a whopping site, a big, sound house in a salubrious location should stir interest from the upper end of the market.
The Heights is on offer at €950,0000 through Robert O’Keeffe of Irish and European and he’s already logged a number of viewings since the signs went up last weekend. Set in a defined and private rectangle, the house sits towards the road with a football pitch of lawn behind.
It’s possible to move in immediately. The house has a good maple kitchen and renovated bathrooms, but it’s likely that buyers at this level will look at adding on at the back to provide a large, open plan living area and perhaps, a master suite.
And even an extra, 1,000 square feet wouldn’t make much of a dint in the site, but it would capitalise on the aspect and the existing layout.
The ground floor has a formal, back-to-front livingroom on the right hand side and kitchen/family room on the other, along with utility, guest loo and garage.
Overhead, there are five bedrooms, with just one single room and a huge, main bathroom.
The house is bright, fresh and considering its age, shows no scent or sign of damp.
It’s a has a great many features and would be well worth a viewing.
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