€200m urban revamp delivers first new homes

Home sweet home — families have begun moving in to the first new houses built as part of one of the State’s largest urban regeneration projects.

€200m urban revamp delivers first new homes

Neighbours Fiona Neville and Sarah Murphy got the keys to their homes yesterday, which were among the first of 10 built under phase one of the €200m Cork North West Quarter Regeneration Plan in Knocknaheeny.

“It’s just bliss. It’s like a new start,” said mum-of-two, Fiona. She lived for 18 years in a 1970s-built council house on nearby Carbery Rd — one of hundreds of sub-standard council homes earmarked for demolition under the scheme.

She is now the proud occupant of an energy efficient three-bedroom terraced house on Killiney Way.

“When I moved in to Carbery Grove, there was nothing. You had to start from scratch,” she said.

“But these new houses are beautiful. Everything is done, right down to the shower curtains. They have a built-in kitchen, wooden floors, carpet on the stairs and landing, smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. You just have to go in and hang up your coat.”

Another 13 homes will be delivered in phase one over the coming months. Carbery Grove will be demolished in phase two, and 29 houses and apartments will be built. The regeneration will continue over the next decade.

“This is another major step in the development of this community, addressing the legacy issues of badly- built 1970s housing,” said Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Fitzgerald. “The approach now is different to previous refurbishment and infill work in Knocknaheeny. We learned a lot of lessons and things have been a lot smoother this time.”

Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent said there is a great community spirit in the area but the standard of housing didn’t always reflect it.

“Now we’re changing that. These new homes are a concrete sign of the progress on redevelopment and it is a very positive sign for the community,” he said, adding that more people are now expressing an interest in securing housing in the area.

The masterplan, adopted by Cork City Council in November 2011, provides for the demolition of 430 housing units, construction of 630 mixed-tenure units, and the development of social and community facilities.

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