Tuesday 23 April 2019

Bord Pleanála gives green light for 150 'fast track' housing units in Mallow

Bill Browne

A proposal for an almost 150 unit residential development in the Spa Glen area of Mallow has been given the green light by An Bord Pleanála.

The development by Greenstone Properties Ltd at Hazel Brooke, Spa Glen, is the first in the Kanturk/Mallow Municipal District to be made under the Strategic Housing Development Initiative, a fast-track planning system introduced for projects consisting of more than 100 houses. 

It represents a significant departure from the normal planning process in that applications for large scale projects can be lodged directly with An Bord Pleanála with the relevant local authority, in this case Cork County Council, playing no role in the decision making process. 

Councillors from the district were briefed on the project last May prior to its submission to the appeals board. While they did raise a number of concerns, such as traffic, the locals roads infrastructure and the social housing element, they gave the development a broad welcome. 

At the time Cllr John Paul O'Shea (FG) summed up the general sentiments of councillors when he said there was "an acute need" for new housing in Mallow. 

"It's good to see the completion of Hazel Brooke is also back on the agenda," he said. 

The five-year planning permission granted by the appeals board makes provision for a mix of 105 two, three and four bed detaches, semi-detached and terraced houses; 44 two and three bed apartments set within nine, three-storey blocks and a créche. 

The development will also incorporate a number of play areas, improved pedestrian facilities including a pedestrian crossing and the realignment of the Spa Road junction, with access via the existing Hazel Brooke entrance. 

The development will see the completion of the unfinished Hazel Brooke Estate, bringing to 223 the total number of units within the existing and proposed development.  In their report An Bord Pleanála said they had taken a number of matters into consideration when making their decision.

These included its location and proximity to the town centre; the nature scale and design of the development, planning guidelines on sustainable developments in urban areas and submissions/observations received.   In granting permission the board set out 22 conditions which have to be adhered to for the development to go ahead. 

These included minor modifications to the plans for the units, the provision of an internal cycleway, the under-grounding of all service cables, that site works be carried out between strictly controlled hours the developer pay the Council monies under the Development Contribution Scheme and that they lodge a cash deposit of bond with the authority.

 Other conditions stipulated that the créche be built in the first phase of the development; that he developer agree on a properly constituted Owners' Management Company, membership of which would be compulsory for those buying properties and that the developer pay special contribution €42,273 (or €277 per unit) to the Council for works to be undertaken by the authority at Spa Glen/N72 junction. 

A full schedule of the conditions can be viewed at 

"It is considered, subject to compliance with the conditions, the proposed development would not injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property within the vicinity, would respect the existing character of the area and would be acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety," read the report. 

"The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area," it concluded.