CORK County Council is planning a significant road upgrade that will allow more than 1,200 homes to be built and provide a link to a new park-and-ride railway station.
Inferior roads in Glanmire were the main reason An Bord Pleanála quoted for refusing plans by O’Flynn Construction for a major housing development in the area.
However, those developments could be back on track as the local authority is to spend €6 million upgrading the road between the AIB bank in Glanmire and the former Ibis Hotel.
O’Flynn Construction wants to build 1,210 houses, offices and retail units at Ballinglanna and Dunkettle, adjacent to that existing road.
Council engineers say they hope to put the project out to tender in the next 12 months and have construction completed within a year of commencement.
Engineers are preparing to draw up detailed designs, and a number of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) will be needed for the project to proceed.
“Several small parcels of land will be required for road widening. It will be necessary to acquire and demolish two dwellings as well,” a county council spokesman said.
The local authority proposes to widen the 2km stretch of road, providing footpaths and cycle lanes on both sides of the road.
This will be done to make it easier for commuters to travel to and from the proposed railway station at Dunkettle. A new pedestrian bridge will also be built adjacent to the existing stone road bridge over the River Glashaboy, near the AIB bank.
However, it wasn’t all smiles when engineers released their report at a council meeting yesterday.
Glanmire-based Cllr John Gilroy (Lab) said he didn’t mind further housing development, but he said it shouldn’t take place without an overall traffic plan being implemented.
Cllr Gilroy said the old bridge in Glanmire village couldn’t facilitate the increase in traffic the O’Flynn Construction projects would generate.
“I can’t accept these proposals are in line with sustainable development. I understand an overall traffic management study is to be done in Glanmire next year. This should be put back until then,” Cllr Gilroy said.
Cllr Tomás Ryan (FG) agreed and said Glanmire was being squeezed with traffic as it was, without overloading the bridge.
County manager Martin Riordan said he was anxious to proceed. “We want to encourage people to use rail for transport. We should look at the benefit rail will have for Glanmire,” he said.
“We need the traffic study first. If Bord Pleanála hadn’t made a ruling against O’Flynn Construction this wouldn’t have been on the council’s agenda at all,” Cllr Gilroy replied.
“What builder is going to start building houses now when he won’t be able to sell for another five or six years. Let’s take our time and do it right,” said Cllr Gilroy.