Sunday 18 November 2007

€875m housing plan rejected

PROPOSALS for the largest single housing development outside of Dublin, estimated to be worth €875 million, have been turned down by local authority planners.

Cork County Council revealed yesterday that its planning officials rejected a 2,500-house development at Stoneview, Blarney, which was proposed by Fleming Construction and Coleman Brothers Ltd.

The council said that the development would be premature because of a deficiency in water supplies and sewerage treatment.

Officials stated that there was a deficiency in the area in road infrastructure, which rendered the current network unsuitable for traffic.

Planning officials said they considered the project to be “substandard” because of the lack of suitable open space and inadequate parking.

Planners also said that the project would “seriously injure the amenities of the area” and would be contrary to proper and sustainable development.

The companies involved initially applied for infrastructure improvements, which they were granted. But this was appealed to An Bord Pleanála.

As the planning appeals board had not made its decision, Cllr John Gilroy said it would be impossible for the council to grant permission for the houses.

“It would be bizarre for the council to grant permission for 2,500 houses and then find that An Bord Pleanála refused the infrastructure,” said Mr Gilroy.

He said he thought it “peculiar” that the developers took such a risk.

“Overall, I am generally supportive of the project, but there are some aspects that I have concerns about. These are the provision of schools and the location of amenities as well as the apparent lack of progress on the provision of a railway station on which the entire project was based on.”

A spokesman for the developers said that they would appeal the latest decision by Cork County Council to An Bord Pleanála.

He said: “The developers are very confident of a positive outcome.”

Irish Examiner

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