Green light for 204 homes on former Nemo Rangers grounds

An Bórd Pleanála has given the green light for a 204-unit residential development on the former Nemo Rangers GAA grounds in Cork City.

The planning appeals board upheld last August’s decision of Cork City Council made to grant, subject to conditions, permission to Dildar Ltd for the large residential project off the South Douglas Rd.

The decision was appealed by Justin McCarthy, care of John MacCarthy and Partners and others.

However, in its decision, made on Wednesday and notified to interested parties yesterday, the board granted permission for the development, with a number of additional conditions, including in relation to the height of certain proposed buildings and the design of certain windows in other properties.

The application was for the development of 204 residential units consisting of 50 two and three-storey detached, semi-detached and terraced houses; 153 one, two and three-bedroom apartments in five and six storey blocks over two basement level car parks; a three-storey mixed use building to include a creche; a commercial unit for use as a private gym; and alterations and a single-storey extension to 7 Eldred Terrace, an architectural conservation area.

The project included provision for 370 parking spaces, a new vehicle and pedestrian entrance onto Douglas Rd, and a pedestrian access from Glenview Terrace, South Douglas Rd.

The board said the development would be in accordance with the zoning objectives for the area, would not seriously injure the amenities of the area, “would respect the existing architectural heritage and character of the area, and would be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience”.

Among the conditions imposed was a reduction in the height of the houses, from nine to 13 inclusive along the northern boundary with Beechwood Place, and two dwellings to the rear of 7 Eldred Terrace, to two storeys.

Sliding glazed doors at first floor levels outside bedroom number two to the rear of all type A1 and A2 dwellings must be replaced with a window, and the windows for the same bedrooms at three of those houses, numbers, 30, 31 and 32, must be redesigned to ensure there is no direct overlooking of the adjoining residential property to the south.

Other conditions direct that flank windows on the first and second floors of a range of other homes are finished in “obscured or frosted glazing”.

The developer has also been instructed to install a signal-controlled junction, including a pedestrian crossing, at the proposed access to the development from the Douglas Rd.

City Hall welcomed the decision. But Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon said he and several residents still have concerns about the scale of the development, and the impact it will have on the area, particularly in relation to traffic.

“Everyone wants development, particularly on this site, which had, since Nemo relocated, but the site of anti-social behaviour,” he said.

“But we must make sure that what we’re doing adds to an area, not detracts from it, and we’re not convinced that this project will do that.”

The site has been vacant since Nemo, one of the country’s best-known football clubs, relocated from this enclosed site to its state-of-the-art complex in Trabeg, Douglas. Its new clubhouse and pitches, gym, hall and all-weather pitch complex, which was completed in 2007, is widely recognised as one of the finest GAA complexes in the country.

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