Planning permission has been granted for two additional phases of a housing development in the Cork village of Kerry Pike, despite claims by a community group that the local infrastructure cannot cope with any more houses in the area.
An Bord Pleanála has upheld the decisions of Cork City Council to approve the development of two new phases of a housing estate at Crenagh Hill, Woodside, Kerry Pike — around 2km south of Blarney — which will permit the construction of 223 new homes.
The developer, TFT Construction, has already secured planning permission for the first phase of the development — the construction of 22 new houses — which is currently nearing completion.
The plans had been opposed by the Clogheen/Kerry Pike Community Association, which pointed out that over 200 new homes had already been built in Kerry Pike in the past six years which, it said, far exceeded the recommended limit contained in the local area plan.
The group claimed there was a lack of infrastructure in the area with no continuous footpath between the new development at Crenagh Hill and the local national school and GAA grounds and no bus services to and from Kerry Pike.
“The community of Clogheen and Kerry Pike wish to ensure that the area is developed and maintained as an independent village and that adequate services and infrastructure are constructed and provided for local residents,” said association chairman Jim O’Mahony.
The local area plan for Kerry Pike states that the number of new dwellings in the village should not exceed 30 over the period 2017-2023, while individual new housing estates should not exceed 20 homes.
However, it also states that numbers above the recommended scale can be considered if the layout of the overall scheme reinforces the existing character of the village.
TFT Construction pointed out that the limit was indicative rather than mandatory.
The developers also said a footpath was under construction, while each phase would see houses built around “village greens” to retain the character of the area.
The board said that, subject to a number of planning conditions, the scale, design and layout of the proposed development was acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience and would not seriously injure the amenities of the area.
Commenting on the ruling, Mr O’Mahony said the Clogheen/Kerry Pike Community Association was disappointed with the outcome, although it accepted there was a need for housing in the general area.
“The infrastructure is still not in place which means parents will have to drive children over one-and-a-half kilometres to schools because it is too dangerous to walk,” said Mr O’Mahony.
He added: “What annoys people is that a lot of money has been collected in development charges from the Kerry Pike area but little or none of that has been put back through spending on local infrastructure.”
Separately the board rejected appeals by TFT Construction against the council’s decision to reduce the combined number of houses originally planned in the second and third phases from 27 but allowed for the net retention of one additional unit above that permitted by the local authority.