BY JACKIE KEOGH
‘WE need more houses built in our villages.’
That’s according to Cllr John O’Sullivan (FG), who said Cork County Council should be developing ‘one, two or three houses in each of the villages in West Cork.’
Speaking at a recent meeting of the Western Committee, at which the councillors were given a quarterly update about its housing programme, Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy agreed with the proposal.
But he suggested that in addition to building houses on Council-owned land, the Council should use its buy and renew scheme to renovate rural properties and add them to the housing stock.
He said every additional house that is occupied in a rural village helps to bring life to that village – ‘it’s what’s needed to keep rural Ireland alive.’
The director of services, Maurice Manning, agreed that ‘two new houses in every small village would be hugely beneficial’ and he said the local authority is actively working along those lines.
He said the Council is currently working on a proposal to develop two houses on Council-owned site in Rossmore and said the plans are at ‘a preliminary stage with the department of housing.’
The director said that the Council is also looking at small sites in Kealkil and Ballydehob with a view to carrying out similar developments. ‘Where we have land, we will do something with it,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Manning confirmed that six two-bedroomed units have already been completed in phase one of a housing development in Baltimore. And works are underway in relation to the construction of a further 12 two-bedroom apartments on the site of the former hotel.
Schull is also likely to enjoy a boost to its housing stock when 14 three-bedroom houses on an unfinished estate at Copper Point are completed.
Other capital projects include a 20-unit scheme at Curraclough in Bandon, plus 20 more in Dunmanway, which includes seven two-bedroom apartments for single people and couples.
In his quarterly update, Mr Manning said the Clúid development at Páirc Na Sáile in Kinsale is ‘well advanced’ and that the 20 two-bedroom houses and the 20 three-bedroom houses are due for completion in the second quarter of 2020.