Cork estate project will bring traffic chaos, say residents


A planned €200 million development on the grounds of Dunkettle estate in Glanmire, Co Cork, will cause travel chaos, adding hundreds of extra cars to already congested roads, a local community association claims.

Philip Mullally, chairman of the Glounthaune Community Association, yesterday expressed his disappointment at the decision by Cork County Council to give developers, O'Flynn Construction, permission to build 527 homes on the grounds of the estate.

The 64-acre site is also expected to house an equestrian centre, garden centre and tennis courts/sports pitch.

The 18th century Dunkettle House, built in Palladian style for wealthy Cork merchant Abraham Morris, will be transformed from a family home to a visitor centre.

Mr Mullally said residents in Glanmire and Glounthaune fear the construction of the residential units will diminish the rural setting of Dunkettle. He claims that congestion on the roads will become intolerable, giving rise to safety concerns.

"There was no consultation. We don't object to a development but it is not being thought through properly. There is a huge issue around the traffic being generated as a result of inadequate layout outside. People won't be able to walk to the village from the site and they are going to have to go to other locations to do anything. You just can't plant houses in anywhere and expect it to work. We are disappointed with this as it could have been a model for other developers."

Members of the Glounthaune Community Association and concerned residents will meet tomorrow night to discuss the new development. An objection to the project is expected to be lodged with An Bord Pleanála in the coming weeks.

Mr Mullally said residents' main concerns are lack of amenities, house density and poor road infrastructure.

O'Flynn Construction said it would carry out the Dunkettle development in a manner sympathetic to the character of the area. Michael O'Flynn said the development of a new road network in the area would ease the traffic problem rather than add to it.

Cork County Council has attached 65 conditions to the project, which include the creation of recreational facilities in the area and improvement to the roads outside the grounds.

The company has been told by the local authority that it must build a link on to the Cork-Dublin (N8) road in addition to a two- lane road from the slip road to Bury's Bridge roundabout.

The development of roads alone will cost the company more than €4 million to implement. Overall project costs are expected to top the €200 million mark.

Dunkettle House was the home of the Russell family until 2003 when they sold it to O'Flynn Construction for €24 million. There has been a member of the family living on the estate since the Russells first inherited it in 1870.

Prior to that five Gubbins sisters, all of whom were deaf, lived in the house.