More than 370 new homes are to be built on the site of the former Greenpark racecourse in Limerick, which previously hosted visits by the late Pope John Paul II in 1979, and US President John F Kennedy, six months prior to his assassination in 1963.
Plans for the construction of 371 homes, comprising 157 two-storey houses, 76 duplex units, and 138 apartments, were given the green light by An Bord Pleanála, it emerged on Monday.
The development, by Voyager Property Ltd, will include a childcare facility; communal green spaces, car park spaces including electric vehicle charge points; as well as walking and cycling lanes.
John Keane, managing director at Voyager, said it represented the first phase of the development of the site, and was welcome news “at a time of national housing crisis”.
The project will breathe new life into the underused Dock Road site which Voyager said had the potential to provide “circa 900 new affordable homes in the near term”.
The Greenpark lands represent a strategically located site in close proximity to the city and aims to encourage footfall into Limerick city centre where the redevelopment of the main thoroughfare O’Connell Street is continuing.
A €30million interactive world rugby experience is also on track to open its doors on O’Connell Street in the Autumn.
Voyager has reached agreement in principle to transfer 37 units on the Greenpark site to Limerick City and County Council for social and affordable housing.
The former Greenpark racecourse closed in 1999 and moved to Greenmount in Patrickswell. Greenpark was also where Irish Olympian John Treacy won gold at the World Cross County Championship in 1979.