Council to build 40 new homes near the Loreto school in Killeens
Approval granted for €7m project beside new Min Ryan Park
Wexford District Council is to build 40 houses and apartments on a site at Killeens adjacent to the new Loreto secondary school and the proposed Min Ryan Park.
Preliminary plans for the project which is expected to cost in the region of €7 million, were outlined by Director of Housing Padraig O'Gorman and local authority architect Shay Howell, at a Council meeting.
The director told councillors that the Council received approval last week from the Department of Housing to proceed with the Killeens housing scheme which comes as progress is ongoing on a local authority housing development at Slippery Green which will be ready for new residents in April, a scheme at Coolcotts to be completed in September and another in Whiterock which is due to be finished by the end of 2019.
Shay Howell said the Killeens scheme will be a mix of houses and apartments on the edge of the new Min Ryan Park, offering children living in the estate an 18-acre amenity to play in.
'The Department would like us to build more units but we think 40 is right', he said.
The scheme will include six single-storey sheltered houses, 10 two-storey family homes with three and four bedrooms and two blocks of apartments with 12 units in each.
The site is beside Killeens Lane and according to the architect, there is a discussion about what to do with the lane in the future. 'It will either be used as a walking path or transferred to people for gardens', he said.
A meeting is due to take place this week between Council and departmental officials as the project goes to the planning stage and members of the public will be able to review the plans after a Part 8 application is lodged in the near future.
Cllr. Ger Carthy welcomed the news and said Wexford County Council has being doing well in the delivery of social housing.
Cllr. Carthy said he was contacted by residents of Killeens Lane who are concerned about people driving to the school, parking in their lane.
Mr. Howell said there is parking at the roundabout in the mornings but he doesn't anticipate parking being a problem when the scheme is completed.
A new road will be built off the roundabout to serve the park and the houses and this will be opened first and Killeens Lane will become less used.
Cllr. David Hynes commended everyone involved in the project and asked about the sheltered houses.
Mr. Howell told him they will be for people over 55 and will comprise 'one and a half to two bedrooms' and shared garden spaces in a terrace design.
'It's great to see houses coming on stream', said Cllr. Tony Walsh.
Cllr. George Lawlor said it would be a good idea if there was direct access from the houses to the park.
Cllr. Jim Moore asked about housing density in Wexford and was told by Mr. Howell that 'in the towns we try to achieve 30 houses per hectare. We are doing a little bit more than that here. We have 1.5 with 40 houses and we think that's enough.'
'It gives decent space and light around the houses and also a play area so that children can play close to home. The department is coming back to us and saying can we put an extra 20 houses here but we think it's enough. It may be a Dublin thing'.
'We are lucky here with the green space and the proximity to a park but that hasn't always been the case. We have built houses that have run into trouble with a lack of green space', he said.
Cllr. Hynes asked about heating and the architect said all the houses will be nZeb-rated. 'We're not using solar. It will be air to water heat pumps which are very effective. The houses will be highly insulated and air tight and will be very efficient in terms of the cost of running them.'
The Mayor, Cllr. Tony Dempsey congratulated the housing department and said the Council is 'way ahead of the national average' in house provision'.