Cork City Council confirmed that it has signed the main contract with Conack Construction to deliver 65 homes on the site of the former Deanrock flats in Togher.
The scheme includes 32 three-bed houses; 24 two-bed houses; four two-bed maisonettes; three two-bed apartments; two four-bed houses; and a community building. They should be ready be the end of next year.
News that work is underway marks the end of a decade-long saga.
The Deanrock landbank has lain vacant since 108 ‘eyesore’ flats were demolished in 2007. Several attempts over the years to develop social housing on the site failed.
The site became mired in controversy when councillors blocked the sale of the land on the open market in a row over how the sale process was handled.
A compromise deal was finally agreed in late 2016 to deliver this social housing scheme. Site clearance work began over a year ago but concerns emerged earlier this year that construction had yet to start.
Officials said significant enabling works have to be completed first.
Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, welcomed the start of building: “This is a housing scheme that residents have campaigned hard for and the community building should be a major resource for them in the years to come.”
The council’s director of housing, Brian Geaney, described it as “a very significant housing project, not just in Cork, but in a national context”.
“This is one of the largest social housing schemes to come on stream in the country and we are delighted to deliver it here in Cork.”
Designed by the council’s Architects Department, the Deanrock houses will have an A-energy rating, with top quality insulation, air tightness, and photovoltaic panels to reduce heating and electricity bills for tenants. Stoves will also be installed as a back-up heating system.
Meanwhile, an apartment block, several single-storey detached units, and several two-storey bedsits on council lands between Boyce’s St and Upper Cattle Market Lane in Gurranabraher are to be demolished for a social housing project.
The scheme will deliver a total of 51 new units, including a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom duplex apartments, duplex houses, and two-storey houses.
“The scheme will provide much-needed family homes and will contribute significantly to the regeneration of Boyce’s St and Upper Cattle Market St, and assist in dealing with the pent-up demand for social housing the city,” Mr Geaney said.