Strategic Housing Development – Ballinglanna, Co. Cork

McCutcheon Halley secured permission under the Strategic Housing Development (SHD) process for 608 no. residential units comprising a mix of apartments, duplexes and houses, a local centre including a creche, retail/retail services units, and a community centre/hall, as well as a site reservation for a primary school at Ballinglanna, Glanmire, Co. Cork. On the date of the decision, it was the largest housing scheme granted by An Bord Pleanála and the first SHD application for a residential/housing development granted outside of Dublin.

The site, located approximately 5km from Cork City, is considered to be strategic in terms of its potential to deliver a significant proportion of housing units, not only within the settlement of Glanmire but also within the wider Cork Metropolitan Area. Notwithstanding the zoning of the site for residential development since 2005, previous proposals for development of the site were unsuccessful owing to a failure to overcome the specific site constraints as well as heavy third-party opposition including multiple appeals and oral hearings.

Acting as Planning and Environmental Lead and Project Coordinator, McCutcheon Halley was responsible for all planning and environmental aspects of the project, from the revision of the site-specific zoning objective as part of the Local Area Plan review process, to the coordination of the design team and preparation of the planning application documentation, including an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR).

Key issues of the development proposal included:

Design & Layout – McCutcheon Halley provided advice on the quantum of development to be accommodated within the site in an effort to maximise the development density in accordance with the relevant national guidance as well as the site-specific zoning objective, while also considering the challenges posed by the site’s many constraints including its steep gradient;

Provision of Recreation/Amenity Facilities – Owing to the site’s topography and location adjacent to the M8, the provision of adequate recreation and amenity facilities posed a significant challenge, particularly with respect to the requirements outlined in Cork County Council Policy. Through consultation with the Council, the application provided a number of facilities spread throughout the site including a community/sports hall, multi-use games areas, play areas and a 3km long amenity trail; and,

Traffic – The potential impact of traffic generated by the proposed development on both local and national road infrastructure, specifically the Dunkettle Interchange had formed part of the reasons for refusal in previous applications on the site. Close cooperation with Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, as well as the submission of a Traffic and Transport Assessment and Construction Traffic Management Plan, helped to identify the level of development that could be accommodated on site in tandem with the necessary upgrades to both the local and national road network which ensured McCutcheon Halley secured permission for the scheme in its entirety.

Result
On the 29th March 2018, An Bord Pleanála issued a Grant of Permission (Reg. Ref. PL04 .300543). In making its determination, the board considered that the “proposed development would provide residential accommodation at a location within the city that would promote sustainable travel patterns, would enhance the character of the area, would be acceptable in terms of traffic and pedestrian safety and convenience, and would not seriously injure the residential or visual amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.”