Planning granted for controversial housing development on outskirts of Cork City

Plans for a controversial greenfield development in Blarney have been approved by An Bord Pleanála.

The Strategic Housing Development (SHD) application, filed earlier this year by Eoin Sheehan, sought permission for 143 residential units comprising 105 houses and 38 apartments, as well as a nursery on a site currently used for agricultural purposes in monacnapa.

However, An Bord Pleanála stipulated in one of the conditions attached to its approval of the development that the two buildings should be omitted.

In reaching its decision, the council ruled that, subject to compliance with the attached 29 conditions, the proposed development “would not seriously impair the residential or visual amenities of the area or nearby property, would be appropriate in the context of surrounding uses, and would otherwise be acceptable in terms of safety and convenience to pedestrians and traffic”.

A condition states that proposed apartment buildings are to be omitted and that any proposed development of this part of the site for residential use “must be applied for separately for planning permission”.

In justifying this condition, the council said it considered that “the proposed interior layout and associated appearance of flats numbers 2, 7, 12, 17, 22 and 27, and the positioning of the blocks close to the boundary south of the site, would lead to a form of substandard residential equipment for future occupants”.

The site is accessible by an existing access road that serves the Sunberry Heights/Sunberry Drive subdivision to the east of the subject site.

The application proposed certain works at the access including widening of the footpath at the junction with the Blarney Relief Road (R617), raised platforms, safety barriers and fencing where required, markings​​ roads and road resurfacing.

Talk to echoLocal resident Denis O’Donovan, who is the treasurer of the Sunberry Residents Group, said that while residents have “never been against the homes on this site”, the infrastructure in the area is “completely inadequate” to do in the face of the increase in the volume of cars. development is likely to generate, and said development approval is “very disappointing.”

Sinn Féin councilor Mick Nugent said he and his party colleague Kenneth Collins had already met with locals who had voiced their opposition to the plans.

“On the same site, there had already been a number of applications or proposals that had either been withdrawn or had not been planned,” he said.

“I know residents are now considering their options in regards to receiving this grant.

“Their concerns are basically that it is a very narrow road through the Sunberry Estate to access where the houses would be built. There are also traffic issues.

“You would like to accommodate accommodation, but it must be accompanied by adequate infrastructure and reception of local residents. [concerns].”

Sara H. Byrd