€16m social housing project in Cork city finally sanctioned

A €16m social housing project on the southside of Cork city was finally sanctioned last night on a site which has lain vacant since eyesore flats were knocked almost a decade ago.

Work is set to start within weeks on the 66-housing unit project in Deanrock, Togher, after councillors agreed a design which will now be advertised under the Part 8 planning process.

The development includes 20 two-storey, two-bedroom, mid-terrace houses and 30 three-storey, three-bedroom terrace houses, as well as two three-storey, four-bedroom houses, and a handful of apartments and duplexes. Community facilities will also be provided.

It is the first of a package of social housing projects across 13 key sites, including six in public ownership, which Cork City Council hopes to start work on over the next six months. The schemes will deliver up to 400 social housing units across the city.

Director of housing Valerie O’Sullivan, thanked councillors for their co-operation in bringing the plan to fruition and said that the same approach should be used to get other social housing projects over the line.

Fine Gael councillor John Buttimer welcomed the Deanrock plan.

“It has been a long road since the flats were knocked. There were a number of obstacles, detours, diversions, challenges and difficulties. But tonight we can move on,” he said.

Fianna Fáil councillor Fergal Dennehy also welcomed the conclusion of the housing plan for a site which he said has been one of the biggest issues he has had to deal with in his ward.

“It has had a lot of false starts and has been described by the media as controversial, which I suppose it has been,” he said.

He said he regrets the loss of green space but said he has to concede that the housing units are needed.

The Deanrock landbank saga has dragged on 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 have failed.

Councillors first blocked the sale of the site in a row over how the sale process was handled.

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