Local anger at Bórd Pleanála housing development decision

A BORD PLEANÁLA decision to approve plans for 600 homes in Passage West in Cork despite being urged by one of its own inspectors to refuse permission will lead to traffic congestion, locals warned last night.

Over half the O’Brien and O’Flynn scheme at Ardmore on the outskirts of Passage West will comprise detached and semi-detached homes. The development will increase the town’s population by one third and will pump an extra 1,000 cars onto the already congested Rochestown/Passage West road.

The authority’s inspector warned the development was “premature pending traffic management measures and the construction of relief roads for the town centre”.

Upholding Cork County Council’s decision to grant permission last June, the Bord ruled the development would not affect amenities in the area. It attached 21 conditions, including the relocation of a planned crèche and nursing home.

The Bord said it also took into account plans to upgrade the Rochestown/Passage West Road.

However, local public representatives said there are no immediate plans to upgrade this stretch of road.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Forde raised locals’ concerns with Environment Minister Dick Roche last night who is in Cork for the Local Authority Members Association annual conference.

She said the Bord’s decision was a further example of the democratic deficit at a local level.

“I find it extraordinary the Bord gave permission despite being urged not to by its own inspector,” she said.

Party colleague Councillor Michael McGrath broadly welcomed the Bord’s decision but warned that the inspector’s concerns will have to be addressed.

“It is vital that we now secure funding for a quality bus corridor on the Rochestown Road,” he said.

The council is expected to receive almost €3.5 million in planning contributions from this development.

Mr McGrath said it is vital this money is spent locally to improve roads, footpaths, public lighting and amenities.

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