Concerns voiced over store plans for Cork site

A community leader has raised concerns about plans for a supermarket on a publicly owned landbank which is earmarked for sale on the southside of Cork City.

Former city councillor and local election candidate, Fergal Dennehy, said it was vital that local people are consulted on the future plans for the site in Deanrock, Togher, before it is sold.

A preliminary plan for the site seeks to build a three-storey building with a supermarket, local convenience stores, pharmacy and a HSE primary care centre.

The sale of the site, which has lain idle for six years, was put on hold for a month last week as councillors called for more time for consultation.

Mr Dennehy welcomed the delay, and the proposals for a primary health care centre. But he said he has concerns about the introduction of a supermarket, and the height of the proposed buildings.

“Togher already has its share of retail outlets and convenience stores. I genuinely cannot see how this proposal as it stands will enhance the general day-to-day life of local residents,” he said.

“This proposal is for a large-scale development which will change the physical layout of a site that is in the very centre of the parish of Togher and I firmly believe that all residents of the parish should be consulted before this land is sold for the proposed purpose. I am concerned with the way that the city council brought this plan before councillors with absolutely no local consultation.

“There has always been an understanding that any proposal which relates to the regeneration of Deanrock would involve the local community as much as possible,” he said.

“Furthermore, there was also an understanding that any finances gained from developments on the land would be put to use in upgrading the local environment and the existing housing stock in the area,” he pointed out.

Following local consultation, the matter will come back before city councillors who will be asked to approve the disposal by private treaty of the 2.83-acre site to Kieran Coughlan and his business partner, Claire Riordan, for €450,000.

The duo were involved in the development of the huge Blackrock Hall primary healthcare centre near the Eden development in Blackrock.

Several conditions have been attached to the sale, including that a planning application be lodged within three months of the conclusion of the deal; that construction would start within six months of the grant of planning permission; and that the entire development should be substantially complete two years later.

The site has lain idle since 2007.

* The issue will be discussed at a public meeting in Togher Community Centre at 7.30pm this Friday.

More in this section