Funding approved for 50 affordable housing units in Mallow

News that approval has been granted in principle for 50 affordable units in Mallow has been welcomed by Kevin O’Keeffe TD, who said it would take people off the housing market and ease pressure in the rental market. “Individuals and couples trying to get housing are not able to do so because of income threshold limits on amounts borrowed, plus high property prices, and this development will help many couples,” he said.
The location for the development of these units is the council land bank on St Joseph’s Road, over-looking the Spa, with a project cost of €2.87m. Deputy Seán Sherlock TD said that any news of new housing is to be welcomed, but he called on Cork Co. Council to develop access to the site from the Spa, because St. Joseph’s Road is already too busy with traffic. “I have been calling for years for the council to realign Ballylough Cross in the Spa to allow access to the council land bank. St Joseph’s Road is already too busy, and with further development expected in Castlelands, plus Mallow Rugby Club up for sale, the road could become one constant traffic jam if you add in traffic to and from the council land bank,” he said.
General Election candidate Pa O’Driscoll said that, there must be “consideration given to the impact of the site.  St Joseph’s Road already suffers from a lot of congestion.  The delivery of the Northern Relief Road and associated works is the only way that traffic congestion in the town can be relieved.  This must be prioritised by government.  The density and design of the housing must also take into account the impact on existing estates in the area.”
The land bank was bought in the early years of the new millennium by Mallow Town Council, but plans to build social and affordable housing met with opposition when the local authority proposed to access the site from St Joseph’s Road, via Aldworth Heights. Local residents opposed the plan, arguing that access to the planned housing should be from the Spa, and the plan was eventually voted down when it was found that the project was in contravention of the Town Development Plan due to the fact that houses overlooking the Spa should be only one-storey in height. The land has lain idle in the years since the collapse of the so-called Celtic Tiger.