‘Exorbitant’ price rules out new housing estate access
A PRESENTATION by a senior executive housing officer at the housing department of Cork County Council did little to allay councillors’ “total disappointment” that construction workers would have to access a site for new social housing through the existing Oakwood estate in Macroom.
Fifty new social houses are to be built and Cllr Ted Lucey (FG) said he was “totally disappointed” that the council cannot get full access to the site for the new houses, meaning that workers will have to access it through the Oakwood estate.
“I really feel sorry for the residents and especially residents who have been living in that lovely estate for the past 25 years,” he added.
The meeting heard that a landowner did not want to sell land and that securing a new access “was just not possible due to an exorbitant price being sought”.
Cllr Michael Creed (FG) said: “We are very very disappointed that an entrance could not be secured. I want it made clear that I am not blaming Cork County Council for this, but I really feel for the residents of Oakwood.”
Padraig Barrett, SEO at the Housing Department attended the Blarney Macroom Municipal District meeting at the request of councillors to outline the current state of play with the proposed 50 housing units.
“It was asked if it was possible to secure another access but that it just not possible. We now feel we will be able to do the construction by going through the estate and the Part Eight planning reflects that,” he said.
He stressed on a number of occasions that Cork County Council had to be “mindful of costs”, especially since there was a slope in the land, which the council would have to also work with.
He said the proposal is to build 19 two bedroom units, 28 three bedroom units, and three four bedroom units.
The meeting also heard that some of the newly built houses would overlook some of the existing houses in the estate. This also grated with several councillors, who said that the design should be tweaked.
“The people living in Oakwood for so many years must not be overlooked by the new builds. We need some level of satisfaction on this for the people already living in Oakwood,” said Cllr Bob Ryan (FF)
Cllr Des O’Grady (SF) said: “The ground is not level. There are people out there waiting for these houses. This is our chance to address the list of houses in Macroom.”
Then Cllr Gobnait Moynihan queried: “The Government are saying they are dealing with the homeless crisis and why isn’t anything being done about it? This is going on long enough. For the residents of Oakwood the main concern is the entrance, then why can’t we have a temporary one and put the construction through that?”
Cllr Ted Lucey replied: “A landowner will not sell the land, that is why.”
Cllr Bob Ryan (FF) said: “This is a disappointment that the entrance couldn’t be resolved and it is now unresolvable. But we now have to be practical and this has been going on long enough. There must be some level of satisfaction secured for the existing residents of Oakwood that their homes won’t be overlooked by the new builds.”
Mr Barrett said that CCC “needs to stick to value for money”. Adding that it was not possible to send a letter to every resident in Oakwood, he did twice say that he would go and meet the residents.
There are approximately 80 houses in Oakwood which has about 200 residents, The Corkman understands.