07/06/2019 - 05:30
By Seán McCárthaigh
Plans for a large, new housing estate a short distance outside Riverstick have been blocked amid concern that the development would be out of character with the village.
Objections from a couple of local residents succeeded in overturning the decision of Cork County Council to grant planning permission for the development of 56 houses on a site around 550 metres east of the village centre near the Ballymartle GAA grounds.
Their appeal has been upheld by An Bord Pleanála which expressed dissatisfaction with the design and layout of the project, which it said is “out of character” with the village of Riverstick and surrounding area and consequently contrary to the objective of the Cork County Development Plan and the local area plan for Bandon/Kinsale.
The development would have increased the number of residential homes in Riverstick by around 22% from its current level. The planning appeals authority said it also had concerns about the “preponderance” of larger homes planned by the developer, Centmont, and associated lack of an appropriate housing mix.
The proposed development at Boulaling included 27 four-bedroom, 25 three -bedroom and just four two-bed units. The board said it had also refused planning permission for the development as it was premature pending the provision of a public footpath to connect it with Riverstick.
Without the footpath, the board said the project would endanger public safety and pose a particular risk for vulnerable road users. An inspector with An Bord Pleanála said the scheme was over twice the recommended limit of 25 units for individual housing developments in Riverstick.
Council planners had also originally recommended rejection of the scheme because of its substandard layout and poor recreation and amenity facilities but a senior planner subsequently approved the project subject to 46 conditions.
Objectors had expressed concern that the proposed new housing estate would affect the privacy of existing properties in the area as well as having a negative impact on what they claimed was already an overdeveloped village.