CALL TO PREVENT A BALLYMUN IN MITCHELSTOWN
County councillor Kevin O’Keeffe has strongly opposed moves by social housing group Cluid to assume control of the Sutton’s Court apartments in Mitchelstown, describing it as a potential ‘Ballymun’ for the town.
He made the comparison with the Dublin housing area, renowned for its anti-social problems, at last Monday’s sitting of the Northern committee of Cork County Council where he proposed “that Cork County Council have no hand, act or part in Cluid taking over Sutton’s Court”.
Cllr O’Keeffe argued that the council has seen anti-social problems arise in well planned, open social housing estates, problems he believes will be exacerbated in an accommodation with “too high a density of apartments” where tenants will be “living on top of each other.”
He also questioned the need for the allocation of further social accommodation in Mitchelstown given the large number of idle houses in Stag Park. Cllr O’Keeffe was not appeased by claims that the housing group would provide an on site manager, insisting that ‘the people of Mitchelstown do not want this’.
Cllr O’Keeffe’s motion failed to garner support from his colleagues on the council, with Cllr Aileen Pyne declaring that she is “pro housing” and Cllr Liam O’Doherty arguing that Cluid’s involvement guarantees a level of control over the choice of tenants, a luxury not afforded to the council should the apartments be let through the private sector.
During last Monday’s debate on the topic it was revealed that a deal between Cluid and the housing section of Cork County Council has yet to be agreed and that recent claims that the group would move into the development within weeks were “premature and misleading.”
Before Cluid can assume control of the apartments the group must agree terms with Cork County Council, before applying for funding for 95% of the development costs from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Furthermore, following Cllr O’Keeffe’s query, the council was informed that the only issue in relation to the project on which councillors could potentially vote would arise if Cluid was to seek approval for a loan to finance the remaining 5% of the necessary funds to complete the purchase of the apartments.
Thursday 22nd May 7:41pm