HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
CHA has made two local development proposals to date.
Kinath-Fineen Sustainable Neighbourhood Development (Bantry)
The Kinaith-Fineen Site was selected on the basis of a careful sustainability criteria which was outlined in Solearth’s Report “Outline Proposal to Carbery Housing Association”. This report sets out (page 22) the criteria for site selection. A study of this reveals that apart from the fact the site is not zoned as residential, it is a very adequate development site for this Project.
Generally, the site is within walking or cycling distance of local amenities, including shops entertainment, schools, employment and public transport facilities. It is our intention to reduce the ecological footprint of development in accordance with best practise, by minimising car use by ensuring convenient access to the centre of the Town.
The site is favoured by not having any local sources of noise pollution such as heavily used roads, factories or intensive farms. There are, to our knowledge, no planning proposals that might change this situation.
The site is bordered by other residential developments, a private one on the north side and a Council development on the East Side. One private property is in the process of construction on the eastern flank of the site. All adjoining developments are relatively low-density and there is no evidence of social problems that might be fuelled by the development.
Existing services, electricity, water and sewerage, are readily available to adjacent sites, and may be accessed by the development without major difficulties. There is also relatively straightforward vehicular access from two directions, from Scart Road and Blackrock Road. The latter has recently been widened and improved by new house construction.
Outline Planning Applications for two separate developments on this Site were drawn up by Solearth Ecological Architects. However the Planning Applications were never considered, as the Assistant County Manager for West Cork ruled that as the land involved was not zoned for residential use, the Planning proposals could not be considered.
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The Slip Sustainable Neighbourhood Development (Bantry)
Following an approach to Cork County Council (Western Region) for land from the Council’s land bank for development by CHA, Council officers identified a potential site in Bantry for this purpose, and began the process of transfer of this site to CHA. The site is zoned for residential development, and within a mile of the Town Centre and therefore of shops, schools and other amenities. It is South facing, and therefore ideally suited for solar design.
The outline design was drawn up by Akiboye Conolly architects, an experienced practise based in Cork City, whose broad experience ranges from grass-roofed homes in Wexford and a solar house in West Cork to design work on the Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg.
CHA has proposed the building of an initial phase of 20 solar homes within a community design. The entire development will incorporate renewable energy use, as well as other aspects of sustainable design and construction. CHA currently has 43 households on its housing list for Bantry. The development will comprise 12 homes for single persons and couples, and 8 for families.
CHA also proposed to build a Community Centre within the site. This will be built to the same ecological standards as the housing, and will provide a communal facility to help meet the identified needs of residents and the local community. The actual purpose of these facilities will be decided in consultation with future residents and the Council, but could include social and leisure facilities or workspace.
Before the Planning Application was submitted, CHA was asked to make a presentation of to the Cork County Council’s Western Committee. Following this presentation, two resolutions were put forward by local Councillors from the main political parties, that had the effect of shelving the proposal indefinitely. CHA’s authority to submit a Planning Application for the site was withdrawn.
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