Thursday 21 June 2007

Bishopstown 3-bed? How about €5m

RESIDENTS of a wealthy Cork suburb pleaded with city officials last night to save a cherished green space that has been put up for sale.

What’s being described as “probably the smallest house in Bishopstown with the biggest garden” was put up for sale by tender over the weekend.

However, the “garden” of number 1, Park Gate Villas on the Bishopstown Road, has been effectively used as a public park for almost four decades by the people of Bishopscourt. They have also paid for its maintenance.

But SWS Property Services confirmed yesterday that the green is included in the sale of the house, which stands at the corner of the prime 1.6 acre site. The green does not have any zoning designation.

SWS negotiator Martin Kelleher said there are certain rights of way over the area.

And while the new owners could apply for planning permission to develop the land, Mr Kelleher said his company was not pushing the sale as a development opportunity.

“The new owner will own the green, but that does not give them an entitlement to develop,” he said.

He declined to discuss the price tag because the sale is by tender but property sources suggested the site could, subject to zoning, be worth close to €5 million.

The 1,700-sq-ft three- bedroom, two-storey detached house is in good structural condition but is in need of refurbishment.

An advertising hoarding on its eastern gable could provide its new owner with several thousand euro in annual income. All tenders are due by August 3.

However, Bishopstown Community Association expressed serious concerns last night that the green could be lost as a public amenity.

“This green area is an integral part of the estate. It should be zoned as open green space,” a spokesperson said.

Fine Gael city councillor Jerry Buttimer has flagged the issue with the city manager and the council’s law and planning departments.

“Every effort must be made to retain this space, which has been a feature of the estate since it was built,” he said.

Irish Examiner

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