Live above the city but just a walk away

SOMETIMES old ways are best — so for those who hanker after a house instead of an apartment and still want to be city dwellers Ardpatrick holds out hope.

Almost incredibly, this 73-house development with spire-packed vistas not dissimilar to those in the 18th century John Butts' painting of Cork is within a kilometre of St Patrick's Bridge in Cork city.

The location in Lady's Well off Watercourse Road bounded by Assumption Road and Pope Road puts it on the transformed city centre/Blackpool corridor, an update on Butts.

This stretch of urban renewal is a physical city success story and has breathed new life into an old suburb, in a valley fold between the northside hills. However, of the hundreds of new residential units built, being built or just coming through the last stages of planning here, there has been a uniformity in choice apartments or little else.

While apartments are generally regarded as the proper land-use option for city sites, every community needs a mix and a choice: here, on this hillside 4.5 acres Cork's planners insisted on choice being given.

Builders Blackline Properties, headed up by Donal O'Donovan, are to build 32 semi-detached houses of 1,340 sq ft, 18 detached 1,550 sq ft four- bed homes and 22 three-bed townhouses of 1,230 sq ft, and the pitch is at families looking for owner-occupation.

Not only will the 25 million scheme fill a local need, especially for couples trading up, it also will serve those working in the city centre who want a home they can walk to and from, say joint selling agents Gerard O'Callaghan of Remax and Joey Sheahan of F&V Sheahan.

"It is the largest residential house development within the city in a decade," they say.

While McInerney's development on Blarney Street might offer a challenge to that assertion, it is a minor quibble.

Prices are only confirmed at present for the 1,340 sq ft three-bed semis, and they start at €360,000.

Design is by Jack Coughlan Associates, and all three house types have their accommodation over three levels, the four-bed semis and detached houses each have two en suite bathrooms and wood will feature in windows and cladding.

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