371 new homes are to be built on the site of the former Greenpark Racecourse which hosted visits by the late Pope John Paul II in 1979 and US President John F Kennedy six months before his assassination in1963.
Plans for the construction of the homes, comprising 157 two-storey houses, 76 duplex units and 138 apartments, have been formally approved by An Bord Pleanála.
The development, by Voyager Property Ltd, will include a childcare facility; communal green spaces; car park spaces including electric vehicle charge points; as well as walking and cycling lanes.
Voyager managing director John Keane said the development could not come sooner for those seeking to break through the current housing crisis.
“At a time of national housing crisis, the welcome news from An Bord Pleanála regarding Greenpark represents a significant milestone in the development of this site and for the provision of homes in Limerick City. We look forward to working closely with Limerick City and County Council along with other stakeholders in the development of much needed housing in our city,” said Mr Keane.
“This news is phase one in the development of this strategically important site. We hope that current consultation regarding the draft Limerick Development Plan will lead to an outcome that will allow this site to realise its full potential, with a priority focus in providing much needed housing for Limerick”, he added.
The site will breathe new life into the underused site which Voyager said has the potential to provide around 900 new affordable homes in the near term.
The Greenpark lands, represent a strategically located site in close proximity to the city and aims to encourage footfall into Limerick city centre which is undergoing a face lift which includes the redevelopment of the city’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street is continuing.
A €30 million interactive world rugby experience is also on track to open its doors on O’Connell Street in the Autumn.
Voyager has reached agreement in principle to transfer 37 units on the Greenpark site to Limerick City and County Council for social and affordable housing.
The former Greenpark Racecourse closed in 1999 and moved to Greenmount in Patrickswell.
Greenpark was also where Irish Olympian John Treacy won gold at the World Cross County Championship in 1979.