The green light has been given for a social housing development plan in Midleton, despite fears over road safety. Cork County Council has approved a plan to develop lands at Abbeywood, Baneshane, close to Gaelscoil Mhainistir na Corann just off the N25, amid concerns that roads in the area are not suitable for the extra traffic which would be generated by the development.
Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty told Monday’s Sitting of Cork County Council that, while he recognised the suitability of this site for housing, the proposed access roads to the site were wholly unsuitable.
“The improvement works on the slip road at Baneshane Roundabout and the N25 should be implemented forthwith before any development commences” he told the Council Executive.
East Cork Municipality Chairman, Noel Collins, said with 800 applicants on the housing list for Midleton the development must go ahead.
He said the development “may necessitate underpass parking and drive through, on the grounds of the safety and protection of pedestrians and children attending the adjacent Gaelscoil.”
Fine Gael Cllr Anthony Barry said he also had “serious reservations” for the health and safety of people using the slip road which is “not fit for the purpose in its present state.”
He said “it is a shame the Midleton to Carrigtwohill upgrade at the N25 was not implemented, as it would have dealt with the issue.”
Cllrs have also long campaigned for calming measures to be installed along a half mile section of road known locally as the Oaten Cake flyover.
This treacherous section of road links the Cork road to the N25 dual carriageway close to Gaelscoil Mhainistir na Corann.
Almost 500 students attend the National School daily, many using the flyover to access the school on foot.
County Chief Executive, Tim Lucey did not commit to making it a priority that the infrastructure would be upgraded prior to the commencement of the development.
He said “there are some mitigation measures in the scheme and a contribution to the future upgrade of the slip road.”
This is the second time Cllrs have given permission to develop social housing on the Baneshane site. In 2016 the Department of Housing and Local Government gave the Local Authority €13million to develop the site through public private partnership, but the plans were appealed to An Bórd Pleanala following traffic and flood concerns locally.
When the planning was eventually agreed, the rapid build project NAMA, who owned the land, decided they were no longer developing turnkey sites outside of Dublin.
The Department of Housing subsequently gave the Local Authority permission to purchase the acreage from NAMA.
The development includes a new culvert to divert the existing stream to allow for the development, improve flows through the site, and avoid flooding.
The new channel will bypass an undersized culvert that runs under the Baneshane Road towards the back of the Gaelscoil.
It’s understood a portion of low lying lands adjoining the site, which are in Cork County Council’s ownership, will be left to flood in extreme weather conditions.
A new Pumping Station will be provided for further drainage, which has already been agreed with Irish Water.