A number of residents’ associations are to lodge objections against one of the biggest housing projects ever proposed in Co Cork.
They are to lodge their objections to An Bord Pleanála, which will decide whether O’Flynn Construction is allowed to build 608 residential units on a 31.5-hectare site at Ballinglanna, Glanmire.
The company’s proposals also involve a crèche, retail units, and community centre/sports hall. In addition, the plan includes play areas, amenity walkways, and has earmarked a 1.2-hectare site for a 16-classroom national school.
The plan involves creating new access roads into the site, including from the adjacent 224-house Fernwood Estate.
While its residents’ association says it is not against the houses, it doesn’t want traffic from the Ballinglanna estate passing through Fernwood, where many young children live.
The chairman of the Fernwood Residents’ Group, Michael Mohally, said that opening up a new road from Dunkettle into Ballinglanna, and then through Fernwood, would create “a rat run” for people trying to avoid traffic gridlock in other parts of Glanmire at peak road-use times.
“We understand, fully, that there is a lack of housing and we welcome the development of new housing in the midst of the housing crisis,” said Mr Mohally. “But we don’t want a road opened up from Fernwood into that estate.”
At present, there is a wall between the Ballinglanna site and his estate.
“Our main objection is having a through road. Our concerns are for the safety of the children of our estate,” said Mr Mohally.
There are 400 young children in the estate. They have just one small green area to play on, which is on the side of the road.
Catherine Sullivan, who is also on the residents’ committee, said the current road network around Glanmire is not capable of handling the extra traffic that would be generated by the Ballinglanna project.
Ms Sullivan’s views were recently echoed by members of the Cobh/Glanmire municipal district council, who were united in opposition to the O’Flynn Construction project, unless the road infrastructure was drastically improved to facilitate it.
They have written to An Bord Pleanála, outlining their concerns and listing roads which they say need to be upgraded first.
Ms Sullivan said that people in adjoining estates, such as Chestnut Meadows, and householders in Glyntown and Caherlagwere, were also putting in objections.
“The roads have never been upgraded around here,” she said. “If the road is opened between our estate and Ballinglanna, it will affect our quality of life and limit where our children can play safely.
“If the road is opened up, we will have cars and commercial vehicles using it as a rat run. The developers will also want to bring construction traffic through our estate. It doesn’t sit comfortably with us.
“People say this could be a game-changer for them, whether they chose to stay in this estate.”
Mr Mohally added: “If we have traffic passing through a rat run on a 24/7 basis, I’ll have to put up a for-sale sign on my house. This is such a nice, quiet park, at the moment.”
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