Council to acquire 106 acres for green amenity in Cork

Cork City Council is close to acquiring 106 acres and a period house near the Lee Fields and the Model Farm Road for possible use as a greenway amenity, in a deal valued at more than €2.2m.

The Inchigaggin House and 106 acres is marked 'Sale Agreed,' and is selling in one lot to Cork City Council for more than the guide price.

City Hall is at a very advanced purchase stage in acquiring Inchigaggin House and lands, previously associated with well-known businessman Richard Wood, who lives nearby at the Rockrohan House estate.

Cork City Council has not commented on its interest, or indicated what it will use the land and house for, but it is likely to include enhanced public amenity/greenway uses, tying in with long-term local authority plans to link the city and Ballincollig along the riverway for amenity value, as much as possible.

The land it is now buying, on both sides of the slender Inchigaggin Lane and also crossing the Carrigrohane Straight Road onto the Lee Fields, has frontage onto the river and includes a flood plain.

It went to the open market last May, when estate agents Lisney guided the entire property at €2.2m, prepared to sell it in separate lots.

The Inchigaggin House and 106 acres is now marked ‘Sale Agreed,’ and is selling in one lot to Cork City Council for more than the guide price after final bids were sought from competing bidders — including private buyers — several months ago. It equated to just €23,000 an acre, not much more than top farm land values.

Of note is the fact the land straddles two local authority jurisdictions, ironically at a time when a controversial boundary extension will see the City Council’s area of control extend miles in every direction, including taking in Ballincollig.

At Inchigaggin House, the 220-year-old period listed house and derelict outbuildings on 30 acres is zoned ‘Landscape Preservation Zone’ in the Cork City Development Plan 2015- 2021.

The balance of the land, 15 acres on one side of the Carrigrohane Road and 60 acres along the Lee Fields, is zoned ‘Prominent & Strategic Metropolitan Greenbelt Area’ in the Cork County Development Plan 2014 -2020.

The Wood family’s lands at Inchigaggin and at Rockrohan were the centre of court discussions more than 10 years ago involving Mr Wood, Ulster Bank, and McCarthy Developments. Separately, some of the Rockrohan lands at Carrigrohane were offered by Richard Wood as a possible gift to the city, if the proposed north ring road route did not pass close by.

It is understood that the final conclusion of the current Inchigaggin House and lands sale involves High Court issues and banking consent.

The city council previously bought land on the western side of Inchigaggin Lane with a view to relocating sports grounds and playing fields such as Lough Rovers, from close to County Hall on the Carrigrohane Road.

It also considered locating a park and ride facility on the current playing fields.

However, it is understood that more ambitious and ‘green’ public amenity plans are now more likely.

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