County will need 73,000 additional homes over next 7 years

A blueprint for the development of Co Cork up to 2021 identifies the need for 73,000 extra houses, a designated area for windfarms, and the need to earmark land for major new industry.

The draft County Development Plan (CDP) has been compiled by Cork County Council planners and will shortly go out to public consultation.

Andrew Hind, the county council’s senior planner, said it is expected that during the lifetime of the CDP the population of the county would increase by just over 70,000 from 399,802 to 470,622.

He said that despite emigration, the population will continue to grow “as we still have one of the highest birth rates in Western Europe”.

“The average number of people in each household is falling. It is now 2.7 per house and it will continue to fall. People are also living longer and younger people are leaving home and living independently more than ever before,” Mr Hind said.

He said around 73,000 more housing units will be needed to accommodate this population increase.

“Most of the land we need is already zoned for housing, so there will be no big rezoning exercise needed,” he said.

“Most of the population increase will be again accommodated along the commuter rail corridor from Cork to Cobh and Midleton. There will also be substantial growth in Ballincollig. We want to locate people on good public transport corridors,” the senior planner said.

Mr Hind said the CDP has identified areas where wind-energy development should be encouraged and areas where it will be positively discouraged.

“We have identified two areas where it will be encouraged and they are from south-west of Macroom towards the Dunmanway and Skibbereen areas.

“The reason for this is these areas have good wind speeds and no real centres of population. They also have very few conservation sites,” Mr Hind said.

“There will be substantial areas where we will actively discourage windfarms, including most of the coastline which are tourist areas. We will also discourage them in tourist areas in North Cork and around the main towns in the county.”

In terms of future industrial development, he said land would be “reserved” in Ringaskiddy for large foreign companies.

He said Little Island has more indigenous industry and Irish companies will be encouraged to expand there in the future because of its good transport connectivity.

The CDP can be viewed at County Hall and the council’s offices at Norton House, Skibbereen and Annabella, Mallow, as well as local libraries.

* Submissions will be accepted until 4pm on Wed, Feb 26, 2014.

They can be made online at www.corkcoco.ie or in writing to the Senior Planner, Planning Policy Unit, Floor 13, County Hall, Cork.


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