Cllr Paul Hayes has welcomed plans by Cork County Council to develop a number of serviced sites around West Cork for social housing.
Sites in Courtmacsherry, Schull, Skibbereen, Durrus and Bantry were bought by the Council at the height of the boom with the intention of being sold as serviced sites to housing applicants looking to build their own homes. After the property crash, the individual cost of these sites proved too expensive for buyers and plans to have voluntary housing bodies develop the sites instead didn’t materialise either; they were left in limbo for the last number of years.
At a meeting of the Western Division of the Council in Clonakilty before Christmas, a housing report from Director of Services Mary Ryan outlined that the Council has applied to the Department of Environment for funding to progress the plans.
Cllr Hayes says, “I welcome this initiative, having queried the use of this land on several occasions over the last year and a half. The land available in Courtmacsherry is hoped to be the first to be developed with the building of approximately 15 council houses.
“I also recommended that the council explore doing the same at other sites in the Council land bank around West Cork that are currently lying idle.
“We have to get back to building council houses again to make a dent in the huge housing waiting list, while also streamlining the turnaround times, refurbishment and reallocation of existing housing stock.
“Minister Alan Kelly frequently makes public announcements to say that money is available to local authorities to tackle the housing crisis so I expect there shouldn’t be any obstacle to this funding being provided to progress this scheme, if the Minister is indeed being sincere.”