The Government’s housing initiatives are beginning to have a “significant, positive impact on the residential market”, one of the country’s leading development firms has said, as it confirmed new plans for more than 1,300 apartments in Cork’s south docklands.
Amid claims from the construction industry that apartment-building is not viable, O’Callaghan Properties (OCP) said it is working on a planning application under large-scale residential development (LRD) protocols for a 1,315-apartment scheme in 10 blocks up to 14 storeys high on the Goulding fertiliser site on Centre Park Rd, that could be lodged within six to eight weeks.
An Irish Homebuilders Association summit this week heard that the Government's annual house-building targets are far too low to cope with surging population growth and that lack of capital and rising costs were damaging the delivery of housing. Apartment projects were highlighted as being further hindered by market conditions, despite only being “borderline viable”.
OCP secured planning last year for a €350m scheme that includes 2,000 apartments in several blocks ranging up to 12 storeys high on Kennedy Quay — a site which includes the landmark R&H Hall silos and the historic Odlums building.
The decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála, with a ruling due two months ago and still awaited.
If OCP secures planning for the Goulding scheme, it will have planning for more than 3,000 apartments in the city’s south docks.
Pending the planning process, it said it could be on site on the Goulding development early next year.
Goulding, which has been based on Centre Park Rd since 1955, is awaiting a decision from An Bord Pleanála since last October on its proposed relocation to the former IFI site in Cork Harbour.
In a statement, OCP said Goulding clearly has to vacate the site before it can start work on its project.
However, a spokesman said: “If our planning application is successful and if there are no objections, OCP could have planning clearance by the end of this year. If Gouldings depart the site as they intend to do, we could commence the project in the first quarter of 2024.
“The Housing for All initiatives are beginning to have a significant, positive impact on the residential market.
“We believe the housing policy environment will reflect that reality, as it must.”
The news emerged after Cork City Council published details of a formal request from OCP’s Leeside Quays Ltd under the LRD process for meetings to discuss its plans for the Goulding site.
It proposes the demolition of existing buildings on the 6.71-hectare site to facilitate the construction of 11 blocks to include 1,315 residential units in 10 apartment blocks, with “associated residential support and amenity facilities” including a gym, shop, retail units, cafe, restaurant, own-door offices, and creche.
The development will provide 662 one-bed units, 459 two-bed units, and 194 three-bed units in buildings ranging in height from two to 14 storeys over a single-level basement.
Last week, members of Cork City Council were told that construction has yet to start on more than 2,500 apartments with planning in the city, including a 1,002-unit project on the former Ford Distribution site in the south docklands, a 609-unit scheme on the Creamfields site on the Tramore Rd, a 302-unit scheme on Horgan’s Quay, and a 118-unit scheme on the South City Link Rd.