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The Midleton Water Rock LIHAF infrastructure project to facilitate the development of over 2,500 housing units in the East Cork area, has begun to progress, according to Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton.

The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) is designed to alleviate blockages and accelerate the development of housing in high-demand urban areas through the provision of off-site public infrastructure. The Midleton Water Rock LIHAF infrastructure project is one of 30 projects approved under the €195.7 million fund, comprised of €146.8 million in Exchequer funding and the remainder in local authority funding.

The Midleton Water Rock LIHAF project has been earmarked for total funding of €5.5 million and will ensure the improvement of local roads and junctions in addition to the development of a services corridor link road, including spurs and access roads, and trunk surface water drainage. This infrastructure will support the significant development of housing units proposed for the Water Rock area.

Speaking after tabling a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien TD, Deputy Stanton said: “I am pleased to see that the Midleton Water Rock LIHAF project has begun to gather pace as such infrastructural developments are pivotal in progressing the provision of badly-needed housing supply in the East Cork area. The Department of Housing has confirmed that it will commit funding of €4.13 million for the development of the project with Cork County Council to provide the remainder.

“The LIHAF project is currently at the tender evaluation stage with the deadline for receipt of submissions having passed in September. Cork County Council is expected to conclude the tender evaluation by the end of this month and present a submission to the Department thereafter. The Minister has confirmed that subject to the Department’s approval of the submission and full implementation of the Section 47 agreements by the relevant landowners, the LIHAF supporting infrastructure works are scheduled to begin construction in the first quarter of next year.

“This follows confirmation from Irish Water in September that it was in the process of finalising wayleaves and Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) with landowners on the preferred route of the project’s 6.8 km wastewater pipeline and associated pumping stations. Planning permission has already been granted for one new pumping station in Water Rock and it is envisaged that Irish Water will submit a planning application for the second pumping station in Midleton North early next year upon completion of the CPO process”, concluded David Stanton.