A new era for Cork if planned transformation of Cork Docklands is backed with supports
- South Docks project a major boost but URDF commitments and Croí Cónaithe must deliver -
Plans for the €350m South Docks project unveiled today show a major confidence in the Cork region and are a preview of the thriving City that can be achieved if the conditions for brownfield development are favourable.
The development of the Docklands has been in sharp focus in recent years and has been given the attention it deserves in Project Ireland 2040, the National Development Plan and the proposed City Development Plan. Plans unveiled today by developers O'Callaghan Properties bring this vision to reality by showcasing the variety of uses that can be achieved in the area; a rehabilitation hospital, office space, mixed-use buildings, apartments, and the creation of a new public realm and riverfront amenity.
However, it is vital that the recent Government commitment of €353m in URDF funding for Cork Docklands, along with the establishment of the Croí Cónaithe Fund contained within the Housing for All report, deliver viability with urgency. Never before has there been a greater need for the delivery of housing on Leeside, and in particular, the delivery of apartment style accommodation.
The docklands will deliver accommodation for over 25,000 people and a sharp focus on viability must be retained as multiple sites must be developed for this vision to be realised. Brownfield apartment viability remains a challenge as highlighted in the recent CIF/Cork Chamber report produced by KPMG, and further steps must be taken by Government if the plans for this area are to move from page to reality.
Paula Cogan, President of Cork Chamber said, “This ambitious project is a major boost for the city and region. It will be transformative, regenerating the previously industrial zone of the docklands to a district that will thrive in a new way, driving economic growth and enhancing the attractiveness of the city for people and investors alike.”
“However, with the projected 50% growth in population in Cork by 2040, the lack of housing currently being delivered is an issue that must be resolved. It is crucial now that the persisting issues around the viability of apartment development on brown field sites are addressed with infrastructure and supports and that this exciting project and more like it can be realised”.