Land identified for affordable homes – but increasing costs may defer work

April 19th, 2019 10:10 PM

By Brian Moore

Clonakilty is one of the three towns in West Cork which have been identified for new housing developments for ‘affordable homes' but councillors feel that the high cost of construction will prohibit the building from going ahead in the short term. The other towns are Kinsale and Carrigaline.

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SITES in Clonakilty, Kinsale and Carrigaline have been identified for new developments of affordable homes.

However, councillors have warned that while the land has been allocated, without addressing the increasing costs associated with these sites, construction will not begin anytime in the near future.

The areas are part of the County Council’s plans for five sites in total around the county where they will build affordable houses, which they will sell to suitable applicants below the market rate.

Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said: ‘The housing crisis is gone beyond anything we have ever experienced. Any move to build housing has to be welcomed but we have to move now.’ Cllr Hayes added: ‘The targets, for building new homes, which have been set by the council, are nowhere near what we need. We have a massive land bank of Council-owned land and we should be fast tracking the building of social and affordable housing now.’

Kinsale councillor Kevin Murphy (FG) also welcomed any plan to build affordable homes in West Cork.

‘At the moment, there are 40 social homes planned for construction at Commogue in Kinsale and this is good news. But we don’t have the exact numbers of affordable homes that are planned for the same site,’ Cllr Murphy said.

‘However, we are crying out for affordable housing for those people who fall outside the threshold to qualify for the social housing scheme, but the difficulty with any proposed development on Council-owned land, which has yet to be addressed, is the cost of the land and the interest payments that are still in place.’

Cllr Murphy has called for a meeting with Minister of State for Housing Damien English to ensure that these costs are covered so that construction can begin.

‘This problem does not only apply to the building of affordable housing, but to social housing as well. Until these costs are dealt with, it will become more and more expensive to carry out any construction of these much-needed homes in West Cork,’ Cllr Murphy said.

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