Monday 18 December 2017

O'Flynn to build 515 houses on Cork site

Michael O’Flynn has praised the new planning system and said it will speed up developments
Michael O’Flynn has praised the new planning system and said it will speed up developments

Gordon Deegan

One of the country's most high-profile developers, Michael O'Flynn is taking advantage of new Government 'fast-track planning' laws to seek planning permission for his group's largest house 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 village in Cork.

Mr O'Flynn, the managing director of the O'Flynn Group, said yesterday that the new rules will "help to address Ireland's chronic housing supply issues".

The estimated value of the development is €130m.

The new rules have enabled the group to bypass Cork County Council's planning department and lodge the plans direct to An Bord Pleanála as part of a two-step process.

The move could save the group a year in the planning process.

The new planning laws for housing developments over 100 homes provide for a pre-application stage at An Bord Pleanála of a maximum duration of nine weeks.

Consultations between the board, the developers and the local authorities take place at this stage.

The board will then be required to make a final determination on the application within 16 weeks of receipt of the full application, except in exceptional cases where an oral hearing is required.

Speaking about the proposed development, Mr O'Flynn said: "We very much welcome the introduction by Housing 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," Mr O'Flynn said.

The 31-hectare site forms parts of a wider zoning objective for the Glanmire area.

The application will include land set aside for a 16-classroom primary school.

According to the O'Flynn Group, the proposed development will provide a broad mix of much needed new housing, ranging from two- and three-bed townhouse and three-bed semi-detached starter homes, to larger four-bed semi-detached and detached houses.

A spokeswoman said the scheme "will be sympathetically designed to reflect the existing character of the area".    

Irish Independent

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