Developer Michael O’Flynn confirmed he is taking advantage of the Government’s new ‘fast track planning’ laws to seek planning permission for his group’s largest house building plan since the economic recovery.
The Cork-based O’Flynn Group is seeking the go-ahead to build 515 houses, a creche, retail units and a community centre on a 31-hectare site at Ballinglanna, located east of Glanmire in Co Cork. The estimated value of the development is €130m. Mr O’Flynn said yesterday the new rules will “help to address Ireland’s chronic housing supply issues”. The O’Flynn Group, due to the new fast track measures, have bypassed Cork County Council’s planning department and lodged the plans directly with An Bord Pleanála in a two-step process. The move could most likely save the group a year in the planning process, as the new planning laws for housing developments over 100 homes provide for a pre-application stage at the appeals board of a maximum duration of nine weeks.
The board will then be required to make a final determination on the application within 16 weeks of receipt of the full application, unless an oral hearing is required. Mr O’Flynn said: “We very much welcome the introduction by Minister Eoghan Murphy of the new fast-track planning system for large scale developments such as this, as we believe it will speed up the process enormously and help to address Ireland’s chronic housing supply issues. “It also brings certainty to the timescales involved in bringing large housing developments to the market, which is of great benefit. “If this application is successful, the new fast-track process means we could be on site in the first quarter of 2018.”
The site is located to the east of Glanmire and forms part of a wider zoning objective for the city suburb and its immediate surrounds. The application also has land set aside for a 16-classroom primary school. “The scheme will be sympathetically designed to reflect the existing character of the area,” the company said. The lodging of the plans with the appeals board follows the board issuing a public notice last week warning of delays in dealing with cases but emphasised “certain categories of cases, for example strategic infrastructure, major housing developments and school projects will continue to be prioritised for decision”.
Mr O’Flynn, meanwhile, stated: “The recent approval of works to upgrade the Dunkettle Interchange, included as part of the Government’s capital projects and the recent Government approval of the €5.9m application to the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund by Cork County Council to upgrade the local road infrastructure in the Glanmire area have unlocked the development of one of Cork’s most strategic residential sites. “We very much look forward to bringing this application forward and delivering over 500 houses for the people of Cork in a development which will also deliver a high-quality living experience with amenities like a community centre, and creche and retail units.”
Source : Irish Examiner