THOUSANDS of spacious luxury apartments aimed at families will be built in Cork’s multi-billion south docks regeneration project, city officials have revealed.
So-called ‘shoe-box’ apartments have been banned and city planners have set generous apartment floor-space guidelines for developers in a bid to attract families back to live in the city centre.
The guidelines are contained in the city’s ambitious draft south docks Local Area Plan (LAP) — a detailed development blueprint for the area which was agreed by city council on Monday.
It aims to transform the south docks into one of the most attractive urban waterfront quarters in Europe with thousands of residential apartments ranging in height from five to seven storeys, and including four soaring landmark towers — one of which will be 22 storeys high at the Marina.
The LAP wants to see the construction of 10,000 homes and apartments, has set a target population of 20,000 and a working population of 25,000 in the region by 2027.
To help achieve this, planners have set down guidelines for apartment sizes that are substantially bigger than the Government’s minimum requirements.
The apartments will range from one bedroom dwellings for two people, to four bedroom dwellings for seven people, with a range of options in between.
Pat Ledwidge, the director of the city council’s Docklands Directorate, said this move was designed to make the apartments more attractive for families.
“We felt that if we wanted to encourage families to live in the docklands, we needed to have adequate living quarters,” he said.
“The apartments will also have generous storage space which has often been a problem area for apartments in the past,” he said.
And two massive planning applications for sites in the docks are to be lodged within weeks.
Property developers Howard Holdings and landowners the Tedcastle Group are expected to seek planning permission in August for a joint project to transform 30 acres of land near Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Their project for a site three times the size of Croke Park, includes offices, residential and retail developments and a 200-bedroom hotel.