‘Ex­or­bi­tant’ price rules out new hous­ing es­tate ac­cess

The Corkman - - NEWS - MARIA HERLIHY

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.

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