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Passage West Development Gets Go Ahead

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Councillors and residents in the Passage West area received some welcome news last week as it was announced that An Bord Pleanála had granted permission for major development works to take place in a revamping of the former St. Mary’s Convent site.

Cork County Council had already granted permission for the proposed development, which is set to involve a significant housing and retail element, but appeals to their decision meant that the case would have to be sent to An Bord Pleanála. One of the appellants was the developers itself, Clyda Eco Homes, who were appealing the decision that they would have to contribute a conditional €100,000 contribution for traffic calming schemes and pedestrian crossing in the town. However, such a condition is no longer on the table and it is thought that the developer is happy with this update.

Clyda Eco Homes, in their plans, want to demolish the old school buildings, which have been an eyesore for many years, and construct 18 apartments and 18 semi-detached dwellings in its place. There are also proposals for a gym, retail spaces, offices and more apartments at Chapel Square.

This latest announcement will be welcome news for local residents following recent setbacks in relation to the development of the Docklands and also frustrations surrounding the nearby Marino Point. It is thought that should this revamp in the town centre commence, it could prove to be the catalyst for further development and regeneration of Passage West.

This was the view of former Passage West resident and current County Councillor, Seámus McGrath (FF). Speaking to The Carrigdhoun on hearing the news Councillor McGrath said, “I very much welcome this planning decision from An Bord Pleanála and I hope that the development process will take place in a reasonable timeframe. The area for development is in a key position in the town centre and I think it is some very positive news for Passage West.”

Former Passage and Monkstown Town Councillor and current County Councillor, Marcia D’Alton (Ind), is also delighted with An Bord Pleanála’s decision, saying, “this is absolutely fantastic news. There are many more steps along the way in this process but this was a critical piece for this development to move forward and I am really delighted as a result. There is still much water to go under the bridge before we see action on the site but this is a very positive step in the right direction.”

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