CORK’S city councillors are poised to do a controversial U-turn on a policy of not rezoning sports land for development.
A motion calling for the rezoning of former sports pitches on the grounds of Farranferris College in Cork was submitted to the city council yesterday.
The rezoning is crucial to secure the €50 million redevelopment of the former seminary as an educational campus to tackle social deprivation in the northside, councillors said. But it comes just months after they voted against rezoning a portion of the Tank Field, also zoned for sports, which would have facilitated the construction of a new school for Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn in Montenotte.
Eleven councillors have signed a motion calling for the adoption of a local area plan to facilitate the regeneration of the college.
If cleared, the former sports grounds will be rezoned for 108 housing units, which help fund the regeneration. The local area plan describes the sports ground as not suitable — or big enough — for competitive use.
The blueprint for the refurbishment of Farranferris College was drawn up, at the request of the diocese, by property developer and past pupil Michael O’Flynn. His plan calls for the development of an educational campus on the 22-acre site.
It is envisaged that 700 people will be accommodated on the campus.
The 40,688 sq ft college will be retained and refurbished, while six new buildings will be constructed next to it
The main building will be used by Cork city VEC, FÁS and Northside Community Enterprises, which will provide adult education and training courses. The others will accommodate Cope Foundation, Rehab Care and Cabas.
Mr O’Flynn will not be involved in building homes on the site. It is envisaged that the campus will also have a crèche, a three-acre regional park and decked car parking.