A residents’ association plans to seek a judicial review after Bord Pleanála granted permission for one of the biggest housing developments ever planned in Cork.
Residents living in an estate in Glanmire said they had been “left with no choice” but to seek a judicial review because the proposed development could create a rat run through their area.
Fernwood Residents Group say their concerns, especially for the safety of a large number of young children in the 224-house estate, were largely overlooked when Bord Pleanála decided to grant permission for the O’Flynn Construction project on adjoining land.
The developers want to build 608 houses on a site at Ballinglanna, next to Fernwood, and remove a wall between the two sites, opening up Fernwood to through traffic.
It’s estimated that there are more than 400 young children in Fernwood.
The developer’s plans also involve building a crèche, retail units, and community centre/sports hall at the Ballinglanna site.
In addition, the plan includes play areas, amenity walkways, and has earmarked a 1.2-hectare site for a 16-classroom national school.
Garry Coughlan of the Fernwood Residents Group said people living in his estate were not against the O’Flynn development, but were concerned about the volumes of traffic it would bring into their estates.
If the road is opened up into Fernwood traffic coming from the Jack Lynch Tunnel could use it to access the western part of Glanmire and villages nearby, avoiding congestion in Riverstown and Hazelwood.
However, residents have proposed a compromise which would allow the O’Flynn plans to go ahead.
“We recently met O’Flynn Construction representatives with local councillors Ger Keohane and Padraig O’Sullivan and put forward a viable alternative to the proposed link road. A Local Area Plan (LAP) amendment could be made by Cork County Council to remove the (through) road,” Mr Coughlan said.
“This would allow the development to continue whilst still protecting Fernwood and the greater Glanmire and Ballinglanna area from the additional traffic.”
Mr Coughlan maintained there been a swell of support amongst the greater Glanmire community since the Bord Pleanála decision was publicised.
“It seems the penny has dropped with residents regarding the impact the additional traffic through this link road will have on the greater community,” he said.
He said his association was urging Cork County Council to engage with the residents and consider a LAP amendment that would serve both the existing residents and proposed development.
The County Development Plan identifies a need for 1,320 new housing units to be built in Glanmire by 2022.
Concerns have been raised by councillors that the road network in the area can hardly handle the current volumes of traffic.
At a meeting of the Cobh/Glanmire municipal district council earlier this year, Cllr Padraig O’Sullivan said around 20 different road improvements would have to be undertaken in the area to prevent increased gridlock.
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