An Application lodged with An Bórd Pleanala for the construction of almost 200 new homes near Midleton has raised serious concerns. Glenveagh Homes Ltd have bypassed Cork County Council to avail of fast track legislation to build 176 mixed type units, including a crèche, on a 13 acre site at Maple Woods Estate, near Ballinacurra.
East Cork Municipality Cllrs say they fear the development, comprising 120 houses and 56 apartments, will clog up roads, place untold strain on infrastructure, and lacks connectivity with the nearby village. Even though Cork County Council has no specific role in deciding the Application, the County Manager is expected to make his views known by the 10 December, as part of the planning process.
The Application was lodged with An Bórd Pleanala on the 16 October with a decision expect by February 2019. The development includes some improvements to the regional road, footpaths, cycle way and bus layby, running from the site to the Bailick road junction. A Toucan crossing linking to Ballinacurra village, new bus stops on both sides of the road and a footpath connection to the Grotto junction is also proposed.
Under the County Development Plan the space is zoned as an existing built up area ‘which’, County Senior Planner Noel Sheridan said ‘compliments the Application. He said that, at present, there is no capacity in the Midleton network for additional wastewater. However, a new Pumping Station and Rising Main planned as part of the Water Rock Master plan to pump waste to Carrigtwohill, would help free up capacity at the Midleton facility.
The 176 units represent an accumulative total of 311 from the existing development, with the new units aimed at first time buyers as the majority of house types will be of 2 and 3 bedroom variety.
Cllr Danielle Twomey told the November Sitting of the East Cork Municipality that she had major concerns the development would add to the existing congestion on the Whitegate road.
Plans have already been lodged for a new slip road off the Lakeview Roundabout to ease congestion on the R630 ‘but’ the Sinn Fein Cllr said, ‘she feared a new traffic headache’.
“The Lakeview slip road would help alleviate [current congestion] but adding 176 homes is a bit of a concern” she said.
Cllr Michael Hegarty said he felt the overall development lacked suitable amenities for children.
The Fine Gael Cllr said “if you take the layout of Ballinacurra, it’s fortunate to have a GAA club and pitch which is almost 1 mile away from the site.”
He said young children looking to access these facilities would have to cross the busy R630 and negotiate their way to the grounds, where there is no connectivity from the village.
Fellow Fine Gael Cllr Susan McCarthy said she felt Irish Water’s response to the wastewater capacity issues were just a “sticky plaster” approach.
She said considering the amount of development planned for the area, the water utility would be better off upgrading the Midleton Wastewater facility.
Municipality Chairman, Noel Collins said the plans were one of many reports that came before Council over the years, with no results.
He said the housing crisis could not be worse in Midleton and all areas of East Cork.
“Some families are living in the most inhumane situations, with mothers and children crying in terrible conditions.”