THE DEVELOPER responsible for Ireland’s tallest building, the Elysian tower in Cork, has got permission for a €400 million development of 1,200 houses on the outskirts of Cork city. Planning was granted yesterday for the 235-acre site close to the Dunkettle roundabout and Glanmire village.
Developer Michael O’Flynn, managing director of O’Flynn Construction, plans to proceed with the project despite plummeting property prices.
O’Flynn completed the €150 million Elysian apartment complex and Japanese Gardens in Cork city last year, but most of the apartments in the 17-storey tower lie empty. His latest project will see two new neighbourhoods built at Dunkettle and Ballinglanna – 6km east of Cork city – to include local retail and community facilities.
The historic Dunkettle House, a protected structure which is located on the site, will be fully renovated and a management plan to ensure its long-term future is to be put in place. It is hoped Dunkettle House will become a visitor attraction and its extensive grounds will serve as parklands for the estimated 2,500 residents of the new housing development.
The 1,200 homes will be built on a phased basis over a 10-year period and will eventually be served by a new railway station at Dunkettle, part of the Cork to Midleton rail line.
The approved development is an amalgamation of two separate planning applications turned down by An Bord Pleanála in 2004. At the time, the planning board had recommended that a masterplan including both developments be drawn up for the greenfield site.
The decision to permit the O’Flynn Construction scheme provides for substantial new improvements to the Dunkettle Road and the Dunkettle interchange, two of the main eastern gateway points into Cork city, which will be carried out in conjunction with the proposed new neighbourhoods.
Facilities at the site will include a retail centre, two creches and a medical centre. A parcel of land is to be reserved for the provision of a 16-classroom primary school and a day-care centre for older people.
Recreational amenities will include a multipurpose community hall, play areas and “multiuse games areas”.