Building work on a €16m social housing project on the southside of Cork City is set to get under way within weeks following almost a year of complex ground works.
It was confirmed last night that the long-awaited 65-house project on a large publicly-owned landbank in Deanrock, Togher, is still on track despite concerns that it had ground to a halt.
Site clearance work began more than a year ago but concerns began to emerge in recent months that construction work on the houses had yet to start. However, Cork City Council has now confirmed that the site is in the process of being handed over to facilitate a construction start date in March.
The Deanrock landbank has lain vacant since the demolition in 2007 of 108 “eyesore” flats, built in the 1970s by the National Building Agency.
Several attempts to develop social housing on the site over the years failed.
The site then became mired in controversy when city council attempts to sell it on the open market were blocked by city councillors in a row over how the sale process was handled.
However, a compromise deal was finally agreed in September 2016 to deliver a 66-house project, alongside a community facility.
A council spokesman said a massive site preparation contract had to be completed first.
The site enabling works contract, which started in December 2016, involved the diversion and reconstruction of major utilities, including a main water and main drainage pipes, as well as the installation of infrastructure and utilities for the proposed housing scheme.
The spokesman said: “Further substantial bulk excavation, including the disposal of existing structures and the installation of a structural sub-base to enable the construction of housing units was undertaken.”
These works are going through the final testing and handover phase, which should be completed by the end of February.
The spokesman said in tandem with this contract, tenders have been invited for the main housing contract.
It is hoped that this contract will be awarded in March, with building work due to start on site soon afterwards.
“The construction of the enabling works will now facilitate a speedier and a more cost-efficient completion of the housing scheme,” the spokesman said.
The entire project has Part 8 planning approval.
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