They voted unanimously in favour of a material contravention last night to allow the residential development on a site zoned for business and technology uses.
The 0.23-hectare site, at Westside on the Model Farm Rd, is a car sales showroom and yard, located between a filling station and the Model Business Park and bounded on the south by student accommodation.
It is zoned in the City Development Plan for business and technology uses — a zoning which does not facilitate residential uses.
However, in a detailed planning report presented at last night’s Cork City Council meeting, officials said the proposed development by Denis O’Brien Developments Ltd could be supported in principle from a planning perspective, subject to a minimum of 23 councillors voting in favour of the contravention.
“Notwithstanding the current zoning, I consider the use of the site for residential would not conflict with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” said head of housing Pat Ledwidge.
The report said the project was advertised on March 9 and during the four-week consultation, no submissions were received.
The meeting was told that all the ward councillors were in favour of the material contravention, and when a vote was called, the 23 councillors attending the meeting — the number required for such a vote to pass — voted to support the contravention, effectively granting planning for the scheme.
It clears the way for the demolition of existing structures on the site and the construction of 10 duplex residential units, 20 apartments, and an underground car park.
Councillors were also told that there are long-term plans for the construction of up to 1,700 new social and private homes on various sites north of Blackpool.
Fianna Fáil councillor John Sheehan said that, given the severe lack of housing development in that part of the housing in recent years, he hopes these various projects would provide a housing option to people who want to live in the area.
The developments include two 400-unit schemes on privately-owned land — one in Ballyvolane and one in Whitechurch — and a 600-unit mixed-tenure scheme on city council-owned land off the Whitechurch Rd.
The city’s head of housing, Brian Geaney, said officials are working on a schedule of enabling works to facilitate the development of that land-bank, and
he said the council is getting departmental support to “accelerate” the delivery of social housing.