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Social Housing At The Crosshaven Coastguard Cottages Progresses

Proposals for 33 social housing units on Lower Road, Crosshaven, have taken a step forward in development as Cork County Council have officially opened Part 8 public consultation on the housing scheme.

The dwellings are to be located on the former site of the Crosshaven Coastguard, where seven derelict properties are to be refurbished, with additional units to be provided behind those on street level.

The provision of 26 homes for social housing will be made available to a number of the 126 approved applicants for social housing in Crosshaven. Of the 26 new houses to be developed, 14 are 1-beds with 8 of these specifically designed as ‘Age Friendly’ to accommodate elderly persons living on their own. 7 units, comprising of the refurbished Coastguard Cottage units, are 2-bed units suitable for 3 people and 12 units are designed as 3-beds, to accommodate 5 persons. As a result, the completion of the 33 units could house up to 109 people of the social housing list. A total of 45 car parking spaces are also to be provided as part of the development.

The Coastguard Cottages have been derelict for some time, but do hold historical and social value within Crosshaven and are listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage, however no previous planning applications have ever been submitted on the site. According to the Planning Report attached with the Part 8 application, the old Coastguard Station and cottages were built in the 1860’s comprising of an officer’s house and eleven coastguard workers houses laid out as a terrace of identical houses. There was a watch house attached to the station, a rocket house to the eastern end of the cottages and a boat house on the beach opposite the officer’s house. However, Cork County Council’s Housing Directorate identified the area are being a key site within the existing residential area of Crosshaven suitable for development.

Pic: Siobhán Russell

In his report on the proposal Senior Planner, Thomas Watt, stated that “the proposal is considered to be sensitive to the existing sites/residences in the immediate vicinity and respects the scale, form and massing of the built fabric of the town. It will result in localised public realm improvements including a walkway through the site and coast road to/from the school above the site of the former railway station, Prospect Villas. The area is noted for its deficiencies in pavement network due to the steep topography”.

A key feature of the development is to be the attempt to recreate a shared communal green space which previously had been afforded to the cottages. According to the report, this central courtyard incorporates a tiered landscaped area forming level hard and soft landscaped areas for community events and winter play areas. The central courtyard along with the second shared green to the front of the cottages provides 15% green space across the overall site. The courtyard also facilitates a pedestrian north-south connection through the site encouraging pedestrian movement through the site. Out of the 24 units defining the courtyard, 19 units have direct access to the courtyard from their dwelling. All family units open directly onto the courtyard.

Submissions from the public for the Part 8 proposal are invited until December 12th 2022. Physical plans and documents are available to view in County Hall or in the local area office on Church Road, Carrigaline.

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