Cork council seeks €80m for housing infrastructure

Chief executive says State grant would facilitate building of 18,000 homes in county

Cork County Council has applied for almost €80 million in infrastructural funding from the Government which could allow for the building of more than 18,000 homes.

Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey said the council had applied to the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government for €79.5 million from its Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) and hoped to receive a positive response.

Infrastructure

The council was seeking one €30 million tranche from the LIHAF and would match it with €10 million of its own money with a view to leveraging a further €66 million through loans from the National Treasury Management Agency’s Irish Strategic Investment Fund.

This money would then be spent on infrastructure such as roads, rail bridges, drainage schemes and land acquisition for roads to open up huge tracts of land for private developers to build large scale housing schemes in Ballincollig, Carrigaline, Carrigtwohill, Glanmire and Midleton, Mr Lucey said.

The council had zoned lands around each town for housing with some 3,500 houses earmarked for the Ballincollig site and corresponding figures of 1,200 for Carrigaline, 2,500 for Carrigtwohill, 1,200 for Glanmire and 2,500 for Midleton.

In addition to funding for infrastructure in these five towns, he said the council was seeking a further €49.5 million from the LIHAF to spend on infrastructure to meet community housing needs in 14 other locations in the county.

"These 14 other locations have the potential to deliver 7,500 units at different locations across both metropolitan Cork and other major towns such as Mallow, Clonakilty, Fermoy, Cobh, Crosshaven and Mitchelstown among others."

Waiting list

“We have identified lands in each location which could deliver schemes of more than 200 units and in some cases up to 600-700 units.”

He said there were 7,000 people on the council’s housing waiting list.

Mr Lucey said the council had carried out research into infrastructural deficits in the county which were proving a barrier to housing developments, but the application for funding, if successful, would help progress matters significantly.

“These planned investment proposals submitted by the County Council, if supported by Government, have the potential to bring a level of certainty to infrastructure development to support house builders.”