In a farewell to the 40 ft cranes that have been a part of the lives of all of us living in Cork Harbour for so long, here is a wonderfully knowledgeable recounting of the development of Verolme Dockyard ….
In a farewell to the 40 ft cranes that have been a part of the lives of all of us living in Cork Harbour for so long, here is a wonderfully knowledgeable recounting of the development of Verolme Dockyard ….
Martin Walsh, Bus Eireann Area Manager, came to the February meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District today. We councillors were asked to submit our questions well in advance by email. I gather that most of us were raising the same issue: reliability. Other more specific queries were also raised, although I have details only of my own. Today’s meeting was moving too fast for me to accurately note the all that the councillors said but I have done the best job I can of noting the responses from Martin Walsh as follows:
The councillors were then invited to each follow up questions they had posed that they felt hadn’t been answered. The second round was a little slower and I managed to get a grip on most of the questions …
Cllr Canty: The bus is full all the way up the western road. Buses will pass passengers on a wet Friday evening coming home. The problem is relief buses. We need them.
MW: Expects that to improve when we go to a 15 minute frequency. As long as the bus doesn’t get stuck in traffic.
Cllr McGrath asks about real time information. Concerns about indefinite answers being given about the 223. Reinforces Cllr D’Alton’s and Jeffers’ request for the Lehenaghbeg bus shelters.
MW: Real time – there are apps that will find your location automatically and tell you how soon the buses will arrive. You will get funny figures when you don’t get guaranteed trip times. There are dreadful bottlenecks on the route. Douglas village is one of the worst. The junction at Tesco is frightening. I don’t think we can take the relief road only. People want to be picked up in Douglas village. Douglas LUTS is there for a long time now. Even when that happens there will be difficult decisions to be made. Have to prioritise buses through Douglas. Hopes we will support them. If there isn’t public transport priority through the village … There are no bus lanes to Ringaskiddy in the N28 plan. What about plans for the Shannonpark roundabout? If we have 10 or 20 or 30 buses there and we don’t have bus lanes, it isn’t going to work. Bus shelters – copy me in on emails and I will send on your requests. The decision is with the NTA. Agrees that the 223 changes are vague. Confident there will be improvements but doesn’t now what they will be at this stage.
Cllr Jeffers: Asks again about Donnybrook – Ballygarvan – Grange
MW: Doesn’t know when the Ballygarvan review will be complete. Maybe ask the NTA. Will look at South Mall to Grange. If you do something like that, you’re taking a bus away from another route. Any extra trip we operate in peak is an extra bus.
Cllr Murphy: Took the 6.20 heading for Passage recently. At 6.50 I was still outside the Briar Rose. Home at 7.20. Wonders if it could be run on the Link. Private buses have no facilities for Leap cards. Got a private bus but had no change. Was in Dublin recently for the Ard Fheis. Is it that on Dublin Bus you have to have the right change but you can flash the Leap Card separately on the right rather than have a single queue? In the old days when you used to get the 223 from the city, the bus would never stop on the Douglas routes.
MW confirms that is correct about private buses not having Leap Card facilities. We intend to be covering those services ourselves in the near future. Dublin Bus had the Leap Card system on the right since the beginning. We have the card reader on top of the ticket machine. You can use the card 24 h, 7 d or monthly. You can use your e-purse as well if there is one reader. There is an interaction with the driver if you’re using your e-purse. The driver has to know how far you are going. It is also the case that in the past when the Carrigaline and Monkstown buses were coming through Dougls, they wouldn’t stop. People used to give out about it.
Cllr D’Alton asks about several questions that weren’t addressed. The first is was about rationalisation of drivers as a result of the Labour Court recommendation. You had mentioned it when we were speaking in October. Was this done? Many of the complaints about the 223 came in since December.
MW: Rationalisation of drivers was carried out at the beginning of December. There was a strike during last year and the resulting Labour Court recommendations were accepted by staff and company and trade unions. They included a range of changes and measures that would be put in place. It took a while to get agreement. We’re practically at the end of implementing those changes now. They have affected staff at every grade and every area. We’re recruiting drivers at the moment.
Cllr D’Alton: Want to reinforce what Cllr Jeffers said about Park and Rides. Forever mentioning the planned Park and Ride at Carrigaline for which a site is zoned. Had asked about the potential use of the Black Ash.
MW: The Park and Ride in the Black Ash is owned by Cork City Council. We operate and mange the facility on behalf of the City Council. We have been involved since 1997. Doesn’t think using the Black Ash will work. Generally people don’t like to have to change buses. We have the 220X from Crosshaven going in the N28 to the South Link Road. Park & Ride in Carrigaline will be a challenge. Are you going to take a Park & Ride to City Centre? A Park & Ride at Shannonpark roundabout for people working in Ringaskiddy might work. If you’re going to do it you want bus lanes going into Ringaskiddy and back out. You need bus lanes for serious modal shift.
Cllr D’Alton: I asked about the timing of bus connections: 223-220-220X?
MW: For good connectivity you need guaranteed trip times. If buses are late they won’t make connections. Connections will become easier when the frequency of the 220 is increased. It will be sorted from Passage West anyway when the direct service to Carrigaline is delivered.
Cllr D’Alton: I had asked about the % change in missed trips.
MW: Missed trips are no shows. I don’t have the exact figures but we don’t miss that many trips. We missed more than normal this year because of traffic but that’s inevitable with 2.5k bus movements each day and almost all of those via Patrick street. The missed trips percentage is in low single figures most of the time.
Cllr D’Alton: Echoes Cllr McGrath’s concerns about the indefiniteness of the reponses wrt the 223. We can’t bring back this indefiniteness. So important that Passage West is connected to the new Primary Care Centre in Carrigaline. The public health centre in Passage West has been closed and referrals are now all to Carrigaline. When do you think the direct service will be in place?
MW: Is aware of the health centre closure. Changes to the 223 will be in place, best guess, by September.
Cllr D’Alton: That’s not good enough that there would be no direct connection with the Primary Care Centre for almost a year. Got a written response from the NTA which said that it would be in place in spring. What can we do to emphasise to the NTA that this is really urgent?
MW: When does spring start??? February or March??? Will bring back the message to the NTA about the urgency.
Cllr O Donnabhain: There can be a problem with stacking of buses in the morning. Although they leave separately, they arrive together in bunces. Can they be staggered more?
MW says that can happen when buses hit traffic. He will keep an eye on it.
Cllr Collins: On the Ballygarvan connectivity – the road adjacent to where the new schools are being built at Ballinrea connects to Ballygarvan. It will be upgraded, although we’re not sure when. It is worth considering using this route. On bus shelters – thinks the main street of Carrigaline isn’t suitable for bus shelters, thinks it is worth considering putting buses on bypass only. Would help traffic to go through Main Street and you could build superb bus shelters on the bypass. Agrees a bus shelter on the bridge could be the victim of anti-social behaviour. The one on the other side was.
MW says people mostly like to wait at bus stops where there is footfall. Taking buses through Carrigaline on the relief road only wouldn’t reflect the policy of convenience that they’re trying to pursue.
Cllr Desmond (Chairperson) thanked MW for coming and said that she was drawing the session to a close. He has been with us for an hour and a half.
As probably every Passage West resident knows, the long-derelict convent and convent school is up for development by Clyda Eco Homes. The planning application is with the County Council since 13th December 2017.
In the last couple of days, a further information request has been issued to the developer. The additional information required is outlined in the following letter issued by the County Council:
The developer has 6 months within which to provide this further information. Before he submits a response, he has been asked to meet with Cork County Council to discuss what is required.
Funding of €160,000 to over 135 arts organisations and individual artists has been announced under Cork County Council’s annual Arts Grant Scheme. This year’s allocations will support the work of many of the county’s voluntary arts groups including Pipe and Brass Bands, Choirs, Traditional Music and Creative Writing groups.
Allocations to 34 arts festivals will account for the largest share of funding provided by the Council in 2018 at nearly 43% of the overall grant allocation. The economic impact of Arts Festivals supported by Cork County Council in 2017 was worth €3.23M to the local economy.
A list of the organisations and projects funded is at the following link:
Arts Grant Scheme 2018- Category Reports and Recommendations
“That this government would initiate a comprehensive review of national environmental noise legislation, including Regulation SI 140/2006 (Environmental Noise Regulations) and the Roads Act 1993, with a view to:
My introduction to the motion:
Environmental noise is noise that comes from all sources except that from the industrial workplace. So it includes road, rail and air traffic, industrial sites, construction and some other outdoor activities.
Noise is a really complicated issue. It is complicated because it is always there. It is complicated too much noise is pollution but the level of noise and the type of noise that is tolerable is a subjective thing. To make it even more complicated, it is measured in many different ways and always on a logarithmic scale.
Noise is very much the Cinderella of pollution. We talk about air pollution, pollution by litter, water pollution and much more. But how often do we talk about noise pollution? Yet it is one of the most frequent sources of environmental complaint. What we do know about noise is that according to the WHO, it is the second largest environmental cause of health problems. There is a confirmed causal relationship between chronic environmental noise and a wide variety of adverse health effects including sleep disturbance, annoyance, cardiovascular disease, endocrine effects, increase incidence of diabetes, performance and learning, mental health and stress.
Noise pollution in Ireland is managed under ten different pieces of legislation, all which do slightly different things. But despite this, we have no legal ambient noise limits. The WHO is absolutely clear that to protect the public, an average night-time exposure to noise should not exceed 40 dB(A). To avoid excessive annoyance to the public, it recommends day time noise levels should be no higher than 55 dB(A). Yet many Irish people are consistently exposed to noise levels much higher than this. In the absence of legal limits, TII produced a set of guidelines with a noise limit value target in the design of new national roads in Ireland of 60 dB Lden. But this is not a mandatory requirement, it applies to national roads only and missing the target is excused if it is not “sustainable”. In this context, sustainable often means if it is too difficult or too expensive.
Our Environmental Noise Regulations require relevant authorities to produce Noise Maps and Noise Action Plans every five years. The purpose of these is to identify and reduce exposure of the population to noise. The EPA has produced guidelines recommending intervention when ambient noise is higher than 70 dB(A) – much higher than the World Health Organisation recommendation. Moreover, in Ireland, noise mapping authorities are often different from noise action authorities. So on a national road, TII will produce the noise map, it will show where any public living alongside is dangerously exposed to noise and then the local authority is obliged to identify how to deal with that and fund it.
All that legislation governing noise doesn’t capture wind farms from which the low frequency noise can drive people from their homes. It doesn’t govern noise from ports although shipping-related activities can keep nearby communities awake for long periods of the night. And critically, because we have no noise limits, we are not merely excusing noise levels above those known to cause health problems, we are designing for noise levels above those known to cause health problems.
Europe has recommended that we designate “quiet areas”. These are special places, often in urban areas, which are precious to people and provide time out in a busy world. The aim of designating them is to protect them from excessive levels of noise. The only place in Ireland where quiet areas have been designated are in Dublin. The current Noise Action Plan for Cork commits to identifying quiet areas during the lifetime of the plan but the plan expires this year and those quiet areas haven’t been identified yet. Research has been done to identify how best to identify areas that should be designated as quiet but that research hasn’t been incorporated into national legislation.
Last year it was estimated that 250,000 people throughout Ireland were living with a level of environmental noise that was causing them annoyance. 100,000 people were living with a level of environmental noise that was causing them sleep disturbance. For the vast majority of these people, that noise was caused by road traffic.
Studies done by the European Commission have shown that measures to directly address noise pollution have a high initial cost and it takes a long time to recover the financial investment. But if a monetary value is put on the resulting societal benefit, those studies have also shown that that investment is highly efficient.
The legislative deficiencies I have spoken of here are merely the tip of the iceberg. We urgently need to address our environmental noise legislation so that it works, so that it provides comfort to those suffering from noise pollution and genuine protection to the health of Irish citizens.
The executive’s report responding to the motion:
Response to D’Alton’s motion on environmental noise
Discussion in Chamber:
Motion is seconded by Cllr Desmond (FF). The M28 was a real eye opener in respect of noise. There is no humane approach to this at all. People who can no longer use their back gardens. Who can no longer open their windows for fresh air. Goalposts are changeable and so people had no cause to redress or satisfaction. One woman at an M28 public display – nothing to do with the proposals – broke down in hysterics from the frustration for 10 years and longer in dealing with noise. Commends the motion.
Cllr Barry (FG): Supports. Being on the Environment SPC the issue of noise pollution has come up with regularity. Ambient noise has a huge effect on people’s lives. Traffic is one of the single biggest causes of it. N25 outside Carrigtwohill and Glanmire – trees have been taken away and no decent barrier has been put in place. People cannot stand outside their door and speak to others. It is accepted that noise is excessive. You do your sound levels and resolving it goes from TII to the Council. The funding isn’t there. People shouldn’t live with that interference in their lives.
Cllr K Murphy (FG): We have to accept that noise levels are serious at the moment and probably getting worse. Motion is excellent. Developments close to regional roads can be seriously noisy. Has an issue with the condition of some of the roads. Noise difference between smooth tarmac surface and chip surface is enormous. Knows that machinery before now was noisier. No such thing as joined up thinking between our planning and the impact that noise could have on a development. Need to create an environment that improves the situation: growing massive trees isn’t the answer. Stayed in a house where the noise level from a national route next door was intolerable. Couldn’t sleep. Double glazing, well back from the road and the noise was still awful. In our planning for the future we have to adopt some other mechanism of ensuring that noise is detrimental to health. It has been detrimental in the past. There is an opportunity in the National Planning Framework.
Cllr Murphy (SF): Supports. As regards industrial noise, lived across from Marino Point for years so agrees with that.
Cllr Forde: Worthy motion and well overdue. Would like to ask each and every one of the people in this room how would you like to live next to a motorway which has a continuous loud noise which drives you crazy? How about living next to a house which has two rottweilers barking way into the night? How about cutting all the trees which makes noise pollution worse? The Eouglas LUTS has identified that noise from traffic in the Douglas village area has exceeded guidelines and limits. Would like to see a specific responsibility in Council for addressing noise. Noise on Douglas with thousands of cars has to have an effect on people. When we give out plannings, we are not strict enough on the effects of noise on houses. Planning issue in Togher where residents couldn’t speak with the noise of refrigerated trucks. It was protracted but the Council took it on. Also had a church where the congretation was singing and neighbours complained. The Council tasked the church to put in new sound barriers and they were then kicked out by their landlord. Need cohesive joined up thinking.
Cllr McCarthy (SF): Well-ordered motion. Resonates with all of us from local issues to much bigger industrial issues. Introducing limit values would be very worthy. Lives in an estate not far from a co-op and during harvest time it is very difficult to sleep. We don’t complain because we know it is only for a defined period but at the same time it is not fair on neighbours who have young children. Where we’re looking at building roads and we’re talking about bypasses for towns, etc. residents living in housing estates that are close to bypasses are concerned.
Deputy CE: Our response says we’re in favour of a revision of the noise legislation. In the event that local authorities get more workload it needs to be matched with resources. This is a very specialised area. We have had very limited resources in this area. We do apply noise limits to all industrial type planning permissions which we grant.
Cllr D’Alton to sum up: Thank contributors sincerely for supporting because this is a genuinely complicated issue. It took 2 hours just to draft the wording of the motion in such a way as was understandable and captured all the recommendations of the relevant experts in the field. Has taken me years to even 50% understand this issue. Thanks the Environment Department for an excellent report which shows that they have a real handle on the issue and understand that a review of the legislation is long overdue. Understands that noise limits are attached to industrial-type planning applications. Industries that are licensed by the EPA are also limited in the noise they can emit but this is not environmental noise in the context of the motion. Agree that additional resources should come to local authorities if responsibilities are assigned to them under revised legislation. One of the reasons the legislation we have isn’t being implemented is because it already assigns responsibilities to local authorities which they have no resources to carry out. Very relieved that we will write to the Minister requesting this long overdue review of environmental noise legislation.
Cork County Council intends to commence the Part 8 Planning process for the junction upgrade and signalization of the South Douglas Road / N40 Douglas West off ramp / Willow Park estate road junction.
The Douglas Land Use and Transportation Study (DLUTS) recommended measures across the Douglas area to improve travel conditions for vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.
One of the measures proposed is the installation of a signalized junction to replace the existing roundabout at the South Douglas Road/N40 off ramp West Douglas.
The works will involve:
Benefits of the proposed scheme
Submissions and observations with respect to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development will be situated, may be made in writing to Senior Engineer, Cork County Council, Traffic and Transportation, Floor 10, County Hall, Cork, on or before Friday 6th April 2018.
A Section 85 agreement has been drawn up and agreed with Cork City Council.
Associated documentation including site notice, location map and preliminary design drawing are at the links below:
Rowan View Developments applied for planning permission to Cork County Council for the development of 24 No. apartments, access, car parking, bicycle storage, refuse storage, amenity areas and landscaping on the green in front of Doodlebugs in Pembroke Wood, Passage West. The planning application ref. is 17/05739.
The County Council requested that Rowan View Developments would provide further information. That was lodged with the County Council on 2nd February. The Council have assessed it and have deemed it significant. That means the further information will be thrown open for commentary to those who have already made submissions. Those comments/additional submissions have to be received by the Planning Office by or on 15th February.
The further information documents are available to view in the Planning Department, County Hall. They are not available on-line yet and until they are, you can access some of the key ones below. Let me know if you would like any particular ones emailed to you in higher resolution.
Further information response letter:
The NRA is running a project to upgrade the landscaping of the airport roundabout. This upgrade went to Part 8 planning in November 2016. The Part 8 planning report to the County Council is here:
Landscape drawings of the proposed upgrade that were published with the planning application are at these links:
1516-103-LA-T001 Site Location
1516-103-LA-T002 Existing Conditions
1516-103-LA-T003 Landscape Layout
1516-103-LA-T004 Painted surfacing detail
1516-103-LA-T005 Earth Mound Detail
1516-103-LA-T006 Sculpture Details
The project also includes an upgrade to the Halfway roundabout and an upgrade to the Shanbally roundabout. The Shanbally upgrade also has planning permission but the tender is being run separately. Drawings for the Shanbally upgrade are at these links:
Lets Move with Cork SportsAbility – funding available for disability services and special schools through the Healthy Ireland fund.
This initiative will support disability services and special schools in County Cork to establish Lets Move with Cork SportsAbility programmes. These programmes can be any activity that will promote physical activity in your school/centre. Please note this initiative is available to services and schools in County Cork.
The programme details and application form are at these links:
Lets Move With Cork SportsAbility Programme Details
Lets Move With Cork SportsAbility Blank Application
Closing date for completed applications to be returned to Pádraig Healy (Sports Inclusion Disability Officer) is Friday January 12th 2018.
Funding can be used for equipment, instructors and venue hire. All programmes must be completed with all funding spent and reported to Cork Sports partnership by March 9th 2018.
For queries please contact Pádraig Healy, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer, Cork Sports Partnership, c/o Motor Tax Office, Model Business Park, Model Farm Road, Cork
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 086 7947923
Cork County Council’s Municipal District Funding Scheme 2018 is offering three different types of grant:
1. Capital Fund – for community groups, sporting and local organisations who would like to undertake infrastructural projects costing over €20,000 that would improve the range or quality of community-based facilities within their area
2. Community Contract – for Tidy Towns groups who work with Cork County Council on local works and projects, agreed with the local Area Engineer, that enhance the area in which the group is active.
3. Amenity Fund Scheme – for community groups, sporting and local organisations in County Cork who wish to undertake projects or purchase equipment to a value of less than €20,000 that directly benefits communities and meets particular needs.
The following link explains the guidelines for each of the grants: Community Fund Guidelines
If at all possible, applications for the grant schemes are to be made on-line through https://www.yourcouncil.ie/ and applicants will need to register with YourCouncil.ie to apply.
The closing date for applications is 4pm on Friday 16th February 2018.
Just over €900,000 has been distributed by the Cork ETB to almost 1,600 voluntary groups all around the county through the Local Youth Club Equipment Scheme. A genuine attempt to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of these groups in our communities. The full list of funding awarded can be viewed at this link:
Cork list of allocations
Before we started a briefing of Cork County Council to discuss the proposed new City boundary on Monday, 4th Dec, we were distributed with a map:
That same evening, Cork City Council also sat in their Chamber in City Hall. They too had a map distributed to them. You can see the scale of the difference at Hop Island/Passage West and Upper Monkstown:
I emailed our Chief Executive asking how on earth it was possible that two different maps were being discussed by the two different authorities on the same evening on foot of a joint negotiation. He responded, advising that the map distributed to the City Council had not been authorised but that the map we had distributed to us did not show the results of a final element of the negotiations preceding the Council briefings. The County wanted the boundary to run to the Chetwynd Viaduct at the N71 rather than further out at the brow of the hill. The City didn’t agree. But the City’s Lord Mayor wanted Hop Island. At the last minute, the City negotiating team ceded the ground at Chetwynd, saying the boundary could be at the Viaduct if the County would give Hop Island. The County’s Chief Executive said fine: the boundary could be set at the MacKinnon suggested line at Hop Island, i.e. almost down to the development boundary of Passage West.
The implication locally for us is that in developing our town, we will be trying to plan and maintain one of our greatest marketing tools – the Greenway – through a different local authority. I know from working in Douglas how difficult this can be. So after having spent a day on the phone to some of my fellow councillors, I wrote the following letter, asking for the Minister to please consider the future of Passage West, cc’ing it to those listed and including a personal covering letter:
Letter to Minister, 07-12-2017_3
I got no acknowledgement from anyone, either the Minister or any of those cc’ed. On Monday 11th Dec, the final map to be recommended to the Minister was circulated to all County councillors at our statutory meeting:
The Chief Executive, the Deputy Chief and the Mayor were all away on business. Many of us spoke at that meeting, including myself. Our efforts were always going to be wasted emotion. The new boundary as indicated in final map was recommended to the Minister and was approved by cabinet yesterday morning.
The Equipment Grant Scheme focuses on the provision of small scale equipment grants to local voluntary youth clubs/groups. Grants may cover equipment such as: Storage, IT equipment, electrical equipment, sporting equipment, arts and drama equipment etc. Please ensure that in any applications for equipment that would have additional health and safety requirements that this is included in the items applied for. Also please at this point consider appropriate secure storage and if necessary include appropriate secure storage in the items applied for.
The maximum grant available is €5,000. Please note for purchases between €3,000 – €5,000, three quotes are required. One quote is sufficient for items under €2,000.
Any equipment applied for must directly benefit the members of the youth club/group.
The grant scheme application form is at the following link. If anyone would like a Word copy of the form, just drop me an email. Closing date is Friday 20th October.
“That in view of the risk balloons waste can pose to wild animals, birds and the marine environment and its contribution to litter generally, Cork County Council would ban balloon releases within its jurisdiction.”
“Balloon releases are beautiful. They are emotional, symbolic and are generally organised for very worthy charitable causes and special commemorative events.
But the reality is that the few minutes that magnificent visual impact is over, the balloons don’t disappear. Between 80 – 95% of released balloons rise to an altitude of 5 miles where the pressure and temperature is such that they burst into small fragments. The remaining 5 – 15% don’t make it that high and can float many miles before descending back to the land or sea, semi-inflated.
Balloons can be made of either mylar or latex. Mylar is a plastic and simply doesn’t biodegrade. Latex in the natural state is biodegradable but balloons on land can take 6 months to biodegrade and in salt water, 12 months. During this time, they are a particularly dangerous litter.
On land, balloon fragments can harm wild and domestic animals and livestock. In the marine environment, sea turtles, birds and other surface-feeding animals can mistake floating balloons for jellyfish and may attempt to eat them. Balloons can directly cause a slow and miserable death by blocking the digestive tract, eventually leading to starvation. This has been witnessed and documented by organisations all over the world including the UK DEFRA and latex balloons have been found in the digestive systems of many species in Irish waters, including some of which are protected by law. In sea turtles, balloons have in fact been found to reside without digestion or excretion for up to 4 months.
Balloons can cause death indirectly because more than 95% of phytoplankton, the essential building blocks of marine ecosystems, are killed by latex rubber within 4 days. Moreover, the word “biodegradable” does not identify that in degrading, latex goes through a sticky phase which increases the choking risk if it is ingested.
Birds legs and necks have become wrapped in the strings attached to balloons. When flippers and fins of sea turtles, seals and dolphins become similarly entrapped, it can cause infection, amputation and death by drowning.
All that aside, a staggering 8% of the world’s helium supply is used for filling party balloons. Helium is a non-renewable resource which we desperately need for other products we treasure such as MRI scanners, fibre optics and LCD screens.
The UK Marine Conservation Society has found a frightening average of 3 balloons per km of coast surveyed. Surveys of beach litter in the UK have found that the number of balloons and balloon fragments has tripled in the past 10 years, doubling between 2015 and 2016 alone.
Balloon releases have been banned in several states in the US including California, Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee and Virginia. At least 7 other US cities have similar laws in place. They have been banned in places in Australia. 34 local authorities in England, 10 in Scotland, 14 in Wales and 4 in Northern Ireland have forbidden balloon releases on public ground.
Environmental organisations all over the world have been asking for a ban on balloon releases for many years.
It is tragic that generally because of a lack of awareness, something that is beautiful, poignant and celebratory should cause so much downstream destruction, suffering and death. There are other equally wonderful ways in which events can be marked, ways which do not cause downstream environmental harm.
I welcome the sensitive and considered response from the executive.”
I wrote the piece at the link below in mid-June for the Carrigdhoun newspaper. At the time, the Mackinnon-led “expert” committee had made their recommendation for a 35km-wide City jurisdiction, stretching from Ballincollig to Carrigtwohill, to include Blarney but to exclude Passage West. The debate about this issue rumbles on and Mackinnon’s recommendations make no more sense to me now than they did two months ago.
The County Council has since offered areas closest to Cork City to the City Council. These areas include the Strategic Land Reserve identified by the County for potential residential development. The extent of the land offered is such that it would increase the City’s area by 85%, allow an immediate population increase of 31.2%, a potential population increase of up to 283,600 and would offer a residential density on a par with that in Dublin City . Any feedback I have had from constituents on the County’s most recent offer has been positive; they say it makes far more sense to them than the City boundary proposed by Mackinnon. (Apart from one constituent living in an area close to the City who very much wants no boundary change at all.)
Under Mackinnon’s recommendations, the Cork Harbour area would be split between City and County. It has recently been suggested that I should be pushing for the entire of Cork Harbour to be included in the expanded City boundary. I have in fact already written about this (in the article below), but believe that this oneness would best be achieved in the context of a merger of City and County:
My submission to the M28 planning appplication is at the link below. This is a TII/Cork County Council project. We need vastly improved connectivity out of Ringaskiddy and if there is to be a motorway, that’s fine too. But at least let it follow a route that will actually keep traffic free-flowing and won’t destroy people’s lives:
Many people, particularly living in Carrigaline, hope that the planned M28 will solve the morning and evening commuter traffic woes. But will it really? In this week’s Carrigdhoun, I show how this hope has not been borne out by the planning application for the proposed motorway ….
Today was the closing day for submissions to the proposed development of 24 apartments on a green space in Pembroke Wood, Passage West. My submission is below. I hope it shows how appallingly inappropriate I think this proposal:
Lidl has been granted planning permission to develop a store at Barry’s Field, Douglas. The planning permission and conditions can be viewed here:
(Please note: the Design Statement submitted with the planning application has been added below today, 27-07-2017.)
A planning application has been made on behalf of Rowan Hill Developments to build 24 apartments (comprising 6 No. 1 bedroom units, 18 No. 2 bedroom units) over 3 storeys, 30 car parking spaces and all associated development works including access, landscaping, amenity areas, bicycle storage, services and refuse storage.
Although it was lodged with the County Council’s planning office on 7th July, the planning application is not available to view on the Planning Viewer app yet. It is, however, available to view in the planning office of County Hall and I have scanned most of the drawings from it and put them here:
If you have concerns, it is important to lodge a submission with Cork County Council before 10th August.
As of now, the planning application has not yet been validated by the County Council. If the application is found not to be complete, it will be sent back to the applicant who will then need to relodge it. At this stage, it will be assigned a new reference number. Should this happen, I will let you know. But in the meantime, if you have concerns it is important to convey them to the County Council.
This planning application was received by Cork County Council on 7th July. By law, this date must be within two weeks of erection of the site notice. If anyone has (preferably photographic) confirmation that the site notice was or was not in place since 24th June, please do let me know.
As a resident myself, I have will be submitting my deep concern that this proposal constitutes overdevelopment in this location. If you have any queries, please get in touch.
An Bord Pleanála invited Indaver Ireland to submit Further Information on their planning application for a proposed incinerator in Ringaskiddy.
Specifically, the Board asked Indaver to address:
Indaver submitted a number of reports in response to this Further Information: one from their air modelling expert, another from their dioxin modelling expert, one from an academic which peer-reviewed the work of the dioxin modelling expert, one from their aviation consultant, another from a new aviation consultant and a report on a site visit to a UK Naval Base with helicopter capability immediately adjacent to an operational incinerator.
Because this information was deemed to be significant, the Board threw it open to the public for their comments. Today was the last day by which those comments would be received.
There have been some wonderfully competent submissions made by CHASE and others, the import of at least some of which will undoubtedly leak out over the next few weeks. Below is a link to my own. It poses deeply concerning questions about the air dispersion modelling carried out by Indaver to which I would dearly love – but will probably never get – answers.
Notes from the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District meeting, 17-07-2017
1. Election of Cathaoirleach
Cllr Mary Rose Desmond was unanimously elected as Chair.
Cllr John Collins was unanimously elected as Vice-Chair.
Tributes were extended to Cllr Canty for his year as Chair.
2. Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 19thJune 2017
Proposed Cllr D’Alton. Seconded Cllr McGrath.
Cllr McGrath asked for an update on the Raffeen bollards. Are we going to put a barrier there to replace the bollards?
AE: They were put in as a short-term measure after a truck went off the road there a few years ago. They were never taken away and the damage has not been repaired. They do intend to do so.
Cllr McGrath: Thanks for getting hedge cut at Carrig na Curra junction. It is cut from the Shannonpark side but not from the Carrigaline side. Also has noticed that the junctions generally have been cut and thanks for that.
Cllr D’Alton: Bollards were put against a collapsed wall in Passage West to perform a similar function. In this case, the wall is private. It has since been fixed and the bollards are lying on the other side of the road. The Council might like to collect them.
Cllr D’Alton asks whether Dock Terrace has yet been added to the Derelict Sites List.
Acting MDO (Margaret): Doyles have been written to but there is no response yet from them. It is normal procedure to write to the owner before putting something on the Derelict Sites list.
Cllr D’Alton asks how long one would normally wait to get a response. Margaret will check this out and revert.
Cllr Muprhy said it has been reported to him that there is dumping over the back walls of those houses. Margaret said this might be an environmental health issue. She said she will follow it up and report back.
Cllr Collins: The Area Office is doing a lot of work on cutting back hedges generally. This highlights the fact that landowners are not doing their bit to keep their hedges cut back. Are we following up on this?
AE: We are not in a position to follow up on everything but we do try when we can to let landowners know of their responsibilities.
3. Consideration of Reports and Recommendations
(i) Derelict Sites Report – Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District
Cllr D’Alton asked what property was taken off the list and what works were done to have it taken off. Margaret said she would check up and revert back.
(ii) Schedule of Municipal Works – Expenditure Report as at 30th June 2017
Cllr D’Alton said that she would ask about graveyards later because it is being brought up as a motion. She asked if the AE had checked up on the additional budget allocated to Coastal Protection in this Municipal District. Had asked that we would devise a programme of slip cleaning. The sailing courses are on now, so the slips are at their maximum usage but we have spent very little of the Coastal Protection budget to date.
AE: One of the engineers in Carrigaline has been dealing with slip management. Some works have been done in relation to cleaning. Doesn’t know where we are at today. There was some funding relating to repair works on the Monkstown slip that Cllr D’Alton had highlighted. Clarifies that this budget is going primarily on the maintenance of slips.
Cllr McGrath: At a recent CPG meeting, a number of Members were commenting on the reduction in staff numbers and the loss of the Gateway scheme. It is being felt across the county in relation to getting simple tasks done. Issues like presentation of our open spaces, etc. are an issue. Have already discussed with AE how things are taking longer to get done through the Area Office. Fully understands that it is down to resources. Unless we raise the issue it is not going to change. Is asking that we as a Municipal District would raise the issue with the CE directly. I pursued this when I was mayor – a lack of priority given to outdoor activities. The Area Offices are stretched beyond belief. The resources aren’t there to deal with the issues we bring to them. There will be a budget passed in November. Is asking that we raise this as a Municipal District. What we ask the Area Office to do are simple tasks but they all add up.
Cllr Forde: A few years ago there was just the AE and the outdoor workers. Now there are many more engineers but the Area Office is under resourced in some critical areas. We’re not whinging but thinks we need to put down a motion to Council before the allocation of capital monies. The Area Offices are the most important level of Council. If the people are satisfied with what we’re doing on the ground, our job is half done. The Area Office is the most critical foundation stone of local democracy.
Cllr Canty: This has been an old chestnut over the years. Our men on the van will leave the yard and go bin collecting, clearing bags, etc. We don’t have people for other jobs then. There were three staff erecting lovely railings last week so their other jobs went on hold. We have to get outside contractors to do everything because our outdoor staff aren’t available to do it. Two or three extra people per office would do an awful lot. We need the visibility of people seeing us out there. People say what are we paying property tax for.
Cllr Jeffers: Supports too. SF has been calling for extra staff to be employed for a long time. Our belief is that staffing levels are at crisis point. I have a motion in at full Council about this. Thinks its not financing is the problem any more, it’s lack of staff. The average age of our grouping of outdoor staff at Municipal District level is 54. This is a dangerous age for outdoor working.
Cllr D’Alton: Agrees also. Is always amazed by the volume of work the Area Office gets through with the limited resources it has. There has been a particular amount of work done lately. But knows there are major pressures. We at Tidy Towns know we are doing more and more of the jobs the Area Office should really be doing. We’re happy to do it to see it done but during last week, the water tower was so full of bags from our clearance that we couldn’t get our tools back in. The Area Office dealt with the emergency when I contacted them, but no doubt but that more workers would help.
Cllr Desmond: What is done is a testament to the Area Office but there are demands there. It is timely that Cllr McGrath has brought this up. We have to agree how and where we bring it on from here.
AE: Would welcome an increase in staff in the morning and it would enable us to get through a lot more work. But wouldn’t like people to get unrealistic expectations either. Appreciates fully that there is a level of frustration out there. Requests come in and it takes a long time for us to get back. We have 10 public reps, 2 Dail constituencies, a public that bypass public reps. The time involved in getting out to examine an incident and get a report done on top of the day job of organising contracts, etc. is huge. There is a huge volume of work and if there were more resources on the ground it would be better. But resources have to be paid for and it is above my pay grade to decide how that should be done. If the resources are available and we don’t have the budget to carry out the works, that’s no good either. These are not my decisions. There are a lot of works going on in the area that the Members would have no involvement in but that take huge administrative resources also. We are constantly under pressure and would be delighted to have extra staff resources in the morning. We all want to get the work done.
Cllr McGrath: We’re under pressure ourselves today – appreciates the support from the Members. Area Offices generally are under-resourced. Have been saying this for some time. They are the ones that give the perception of how the Council is providing services. Suggests we send a letter to the CE now. Is happy to forward it as a motion. We need to be careful of the wording.
Agreed Cllr McGrath would draft the motion, send it to Sarah and Sarah would circulate to the Members. Will be on the full Council agenda for September.
Cllr Forde suggests that if this isn’t successful, we should look at the proposal that there should be a spreadsheet of all the motions put down to date, of the actions taken and when the actions on those are taken. It is hard to keep track of motions and they fall off.
(i) Correspondence from TII – Ringaskiddy Playground Pedestrian Crossing N28.
Cllr D’Alton said she raised this initially and doesn’t want to incur pointless letter-writing on behalf of the MDO but this response isn’t good enough. Doesn’t know what more she can do. She’s even done a traffic and pedestrian count. Has demonstrated that they meet TII’s own criteria for a pedestrian crossing. Invites the members to make suggestions as to what to do next.
We agreed to write to the CRDO and ask that they would come to a meeting.
(ii) Correspondence from Irish Water – Water Outages, Carrigaline
Cllr MCGrath: Doesn’t want to play ping pong with letters either but wonders if through the MD we could escalate this past the public reps desk in Irish Water to a manager of some sort? Very frustrating and will continue.
Cllr Jeffers: Knows Cllr McGrath has been really pushing this. Commends him for that. Supports. The Irish Water response is not good enough. The water main has broken 4 – 5 times in the space of one month.
Cllr Desmond: Supports too. We’re not responsible for the response we got but acknowledges that this response this is not good enough.
Agreed that we would write to the Chief Executive of Irish Water.
(iii) Correspondence from Denis Naughten, T.D., Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment – Election Posters
Cllr D’Alton: I pushed this on foot of a motion from Cllr O’Donnabhain. Would love to see a ban on election posters across the county but thinks that the letter written back by the Minister is a good one. He put effort in. He refers to a survey done in 2008. Looked it up. This was done by John Gormley when he was minister. It asked local authority members if they would agree to limit the number of posters per candidate. The responses he got were so strong that unless I get support from the members to take this further, I am going no further with it.
There was no support offered!
5. Disposal of Property
To consider the disposal of freehold interest at 3 Congress Place, Monkstown, Co. Cork to property owner Leona Beale for the consideration of €350.00 inclusive of administration charges.
The MD had circulated an update about the TDF, specifically in relation to the proposed Music in Community festival in Ballincollig.
Cllr D’Alton: We supported the Music in Community festival before. Was concerned then that we were giving it a lot of money and we said we would review before we gave again. Now we have been asked to support the Wellbeing festival in the Regional Park too. Is concerned that we would be giving significant support to two festivals in Ballincollig and nothing similar elsewhere.
Cllr Canty: The Music in Community group are after falling short this year. It costs about €20k to put on the festival. We said we’d give €3k towards it at one stage. They have spoken to the MDO, etc. and because they are short of money, they are instead proposing gigs in small venues around the town. That’s not what we said we’d support. The MDO is talking about transferring the money to the Wellbeing festival. The Wellbeing festival has said that it will move around after it happens in Ballincollig. They too are looking for funding.
Cllr Forde: The Laya outdoor events are hugely well attended. Even if the weather isn’t good, people will go. Thinks we should support the wellbeing festival.
Cllr McGrath: Agrees that we should give some money to the wellbeing festival.
Cllr Desmond agrees that the Laya days are brilliant. Good that they are coming to us first. All agreed unanimously that we would move the €3k to the fitness and wellbeing festival.
7. Notices of Motion
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:
Cllr. D O’Donnabhain
Cllr O Donnabhain is not present.
Cllr. D Forde
Cllr Forde: A great job was done in putting in the footpath from Maryborough to the Fingerpost. Would personally have liked the money to have been spent on footpaths in estates. Now other residents on the Rochestown Road are looking for an infill footpath connecting Rochestown Rise to Maryborough Estate.
AE: It was you put the footpath on the Rochestown Road with the excess from the GMA! My budget for footpaths will do only those in estates. I doubt that I would have the budget to do this. We get a footpath budget and couldn’t have done the Rochestown Road work out of that budget. We could do it only because money came from the TDF. Should the same happen again, I’m not sure that I would prioritise that area or that the type of money that would be involved would become available. It is a longer stretch, is linking up house entrances, there would be a possible need for land transfer. It is a big project and this iis possibly why it was not done to date. There is a footpath on the other side of the road; there are crossing points. There are alternatives and pedestrians are not at risk. I have to allocate the year by year footpath money to estates where footpaths are falling apart. If relevant development charges become available, this stretch of footpath will be considered. Works done on the Rochestown road to date have come from the specific improvement grant. This grant stream no longer available.
Cllr Forde: Is there a commitment to have a footpath everywhere within a 30 kph zone?
AE: I’m not aware of it. It is a 50 kph zone. But it is served by footpaths; facilities are provided for pedestrians.
Cllr Forde: There are only 7 houses there and facilities across the road where the footpath on the Rochestown Road was replaced. So one can’t use that argument either!
AE: The inside of that footpath is an old stone wall. Vehicular traffic could drive up on the existing footpath because it had sunk to level with the road. There was nothing protecting traffic if a car went up on it from crashing into the wall. So this was a much higher priority from a safety point of view.
Cllr. S McGrath
Cllr McGrath: There are a large number of companies towards the Currabinny direction and some of the heavy vehicles use this road. This road gets a huge volume of traffic anyway. Would signage help? There are residential houses along the road and no footpath between Coolmore Cross and the grotto.
AE: There are already signs on the regional road between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy telling people not to use the road. These should prevent them from turning up at Coolmore. We could investigate putting signs on the road. Imagines the bulk of HGVs using the road are oil lorries, refuse trucks, etc. who will have to use the road anyway. Existing signage isn’t having an impact.
It was agreed that they would put a sign up at Shanbally itself. AE cautions that a lot of HGVs would have to travel the road for local servicing anyway.
Cllr McGrath: Thinks Cllr D’Alton must have been in contact with the same person! The footpath goes as far as the school. It doesn’t go up to Carrigmahon where the estate is. Diamond Hill doesn’t have a footpath either. We have commented before on connectivity. Is flagging it in terms of the footpath programme although accepts it is probably too late to be done this year.
Cllr D’Alton: This stretch of road is connecting to the school and that is the problem. There are deep drains on one side, overgrowth on the other, an almost 90 degree bend and when a car or a jeep is going down the road and they meet a child walking up against them on the road, it is lethal. There have been several planning applications for ground behind the Carrigmahon estate and perhaps planning contributions from this could be used. The Area Office tends to try to build 1.5m footpaths but even if this were a narrower footpath it would improve safety. Appreciates it wouldn’t be an easy one with the drains and the gradient.
AE: The sufficient road width isn’t there to put in a proper footpath. We did work on the drainage issues last year. If we were to have the money in the morning, would rather spend the money in areas where the footpaths that we have are deteriorating and disintegrating. A footpath on that side will mean getting rid of the existing roadside drainage. You would have to put in a storm sewerage system to replace it. You would have to do accommodation works along all the houses. Even if sufficient width was there, can’t see development contributions paying for it. It would be too expensive. Doesn’t think we can do it.
Cllr McGrath: How we do we provide footpaths were there isn’t a footpath. Our footpath money is necessary to repair what we’ve got.
Cllr D’Alton: Does our footpath repair budget come from the revenue budget or the capital budget? Could we not make an argument that if they come from the revenue budget, we should be given an annual allocation from the capital budget for new stretches of footpath?
AE: Can see only a few ways to provide a footpath like this. 1) The specific improvement grant but this is now gone. The Restoration Grant that is there now is very specific as to what it can be used for. 2) As you have suggested, the capital budget could pay for it. 3) Have found recently that Community Involvement Schemes can include footpath works. Would the residents there be willing to contribute financially to a footpath? We do get a Discretionary Maintenance Grant and we can do what we want with this. But the ordinary maintenance requirements from January to December are so huge that whilst I do supplement the footpath budget from it sometimes, I daren’t use too much.
Cllr Desmond: This is very frustrating when you see the level of property tax that is coming from this MD. Couldn’t possibly ask residents to contribute to the cost of installing a footpath. They would be justified in asking where their property tax is going.
We agreed to forward a motion from the MD to full Council asking for money to be put aside in the Capital Budget for new footpaths.
Cllr D’Alton: Could the AE let us know in numbers of zeros how much it might cost to put in a footpath in a location like Fairy Hill. Many of the locations we’ve been asking for new footpaths involve complications like accommodation works and land purchase. So whilst €250,000 might look great in a headline, it will hardly deliver one stretch of path. We need to have a feel for what might be a realistic amount to look for from the Capital Budget.
The AE said she will come back to us to let us know what would be a reasonable allocation.
AE: There is only one entrance that is not dished. We will sort that. The footpath is actually too narrow for a wheelchair but we can’t make it wider with the footpath that is there.
Cllr. M Murphy
Cllr Murphy: I contacted a member of the HSE. Lady said someone else would contact me. But I didn’t get a call.
Cllr D’Alton: Can clarify without offering an opinion. The current public health centre building is no longer fit for purpose. The HSE intends to move most of the functions of the current public health centre to the new primary care centre in Carrigaline. But they are aware of the need to maintain a basic element of the current service in Passage West and so they are actively seeking alternative premises from which to operate out of. Have spoken to them about this on two occasions and have had written correspondence with them also.
Cllr McGrath: The social welfare office has been moved out of Passage too. Believed the post office was in trouble but have spoken to the proprietor and believes it is now fine. But it would be very difficult if the health centre were to be moved. They may not be genuine about finding alternative premises and there is no bus service to Carrigaline.
Cllr D’Alton: Offering opinion this time as opposed to fact. They are acutely aware of the lack of a bus service between Passage West and Carrigaline and has no reason to doubt that their search for an alternative premises is also genuine. But it may help to write to them as a Municipal District and impress the importance of keeping public health service in Passage West.
It was agreed that we would do this. Cllr D’Alton to forward the contact to the MDO.
Cllr. E Jeffers
Cllr Jeffers: The Development Plan speaks of regeneration for the area. Because there are flood relief works going on there, thinks there would be an opportunity to use funds from the TDF to enhance the area. There is going to be a meeting with the community association and the tidy towns. Welcomes that. Thinks it would be a good idea to do the works while the OPW is doing the work.
Cllr Forde: Supports. When you speak of public realm improvements, I think of statues and trees. You are probably thinking of footpaths, etc. This will not come out of the Area Office budget. There is a huge amount of money spent on the Arts section. Public realm could be incorporating this.
Margaret says the meeting will need to happen first and that Kevin is also suggesting that the TDF would provide targeted initiatives within the main towns. However Togher would not be included in this as it is not a main town.
Cllr Jeffers: The same sort of money was spent from the TDF on a footpath in Rochestown.
Cllr Desmond supports too and thinks we should follow this up at our next Council meeting.
Cllr Harris thinks Togher falls between two stools and badly needs investment.
Cllr Jeffers: No report back on this. Can’t comment on something I don’t have!
AE: I didn’t do a report on it. Fell between two stools. For as long as I’ve been here, we’ve had 3 staff permanently assigned to an individual cemetery. Outside of that, the maintenance of the other cemeteries are contracted. One is maintained by our own staff.
Cllr Jeffers: Has spoken before about maintenance of Douglas cemetery. This is more about the staffing issue again. Knows the staff do as much as they can. Have we our own staff in St. James’s? Have noticed little things there: rubber straps broken, bits of grass not done. Also this same graveyard, could the gates this be opened so that people could drive in further?
AE: The caretaker will assist in any situation when he is on site. We can’t leave the gate open for many security based reasons. The internal roadway would lend itself to joyriding.
Cllr D’Alton asked what defined whether a graveyard would get a permanent member of staff. Was it on the basis of size alone?
Cllr Harris has had complaints about the condition of the cemetery in Douglas.
AE: The staff in the three cemeteries are a legacy really. Permanent staff were put in these cemeteries because they are our biggest cemeteries. There is a permanent member of staff in the Douglas cemetery. If there are any issues we will deal with them as they arise.
Cllr Jeffers thanks for works done to date. Appreciates it would be very difficult to justify resources for a road that isn’t a primary or secondary road. It is a very busy road though and only getting worse with the area continuing to develop. The road narrows by the junction going left to Ballygarvan. Could something be done there? From the airport to Farmer’s Cross is very dangerous too. Knows ditches have been cut recently and that has helped.
AE: We can look at the junctions – you have raised Cooney’s Lane before. It comes back again to capital resources and the justification for spend. You are right – it is a rat run. This is one of the reasons we did the works we did this year. We can’t do much more other than work at junctions. There is a proposal to do works at Farmers Cross which will improve things for pedestrians in that local area. We intend to follow on what has been done to date in improving safety at the bend. There have been issues in the past for traffic coming from Ballygarvan losing control on the bend. Last year the fence was moved back. We’ll do a little extra this year. The footpaths might have to wait until the following year.
Cllr Jeffers: Stresses that point is lethal. If anything was to be looked at, it would be here.
Cllr. M R Desmond
Cllr Desmond: This is a historic issue. Some residents tried to take over this in the past. Rats are a problem.
AE: I was asked to clear up the area before because of a lot of dumping that was going on. Would be delighted to see the residents taking it over. There is access from the estate. It would make sense.
Cllr Jeffers supports. Cllr Forde also supports and compliments the area office for the work done there over the years. A lot of the dumping there has been the fault of the residents. Best to chop the overgrowth so there is no cover.
AE: This was raised by Deputy O Laoghaire when he was in the Chamber in relation to Grange Way. I went to look at it at the time. The green in Grange Way is very large. We went as far as getting a contractor to price it. It didn’t proceed because we didn’t have the resources. We’ll take another look at it. Grange Wood Court is different because the green is tiny. Will investigate.
Cllr McGrath: We’re trying to progress this in the Planning SPC. We’ve all had different motions on this kind of thing over the years. There are instances and practical situations where even going in 1 metre would make a difference.
Cllr Desmond: Realised I was doubling up on an issue brought up last month. Weeds are very bad on the relief road too.
AE: We are spraying. We have our own staff spraying. Will look after this if it is not done.
Cllr. M D’Alton
Cllr D’Alton described where this is. Residents have asked for even one more light closer to the junction. Thinks it would be technically feasible because there are poles and there is already public lighting along the most dense stretch of housing. When children are walking up the hill from school on winter evenings, etc. it would give them greater visibility at the blind bend.
AE: Will look at this. Unlikely to happen this year.
Cllr D’Alton: Very pleased with the report. We can now begin to progress this with SECAD.
8. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr Murphy: Congratulations to Maeve O’Brien for winning gold and silver medals in the recent karate World Championships.
Cllr D’Alton: Asks that we would send congratulations to the Passage West karate club for all the medal wins rather than to just singling out competitors. So many won medals that we would inevitably leave someone out.
Agreed that we would do this.
Cllr McGrath: Congratulations to Sarah on her recent promotion.
9. Any other business
AE: The annual public lighting budget covers about 50% of what we’re providing. Funding sources are from lots of other areas too. This is the 2017 programme. Based on this and other areas, it is likely that it will go into 2018 before it is completed.
Cllr Forde: Pleased with this.
Cllr McGrath: Welcome. It is late in the year that this news is coming. It will be half way through the winter before these are in place. What causes this delay? There are two big schemes and lots of smaller ones. It is good to do it this way. What about the playground in Carrigaline? We passed on a survey from parents in Carrigaline to the Council. They went to efforts to do this and it was quite balanced. On Sunday morning it was quite bad again. We have to try to address the issue. Is public lighting an option? Saw in another playground some signage saying people are not allowed there after dark. Would we pass a bye-law to that effect?
Cllr Harris: Thanks for report.
Cllr Murphy: Cost of Rockenham light is very high. Why?
AE: Some lights are more expensive to provide than others if there isn’t another light close or if there isn’t an available pole.
Cllr D’Alton: Delighted with the report, especially the provision of lighting from Gobby Beach to Ringaskiddy. This will make a real difference.
Cllr Forde: Briars/weeds – one on Grange Road by Shamrock Lawn and one on Donnybrook Hill. They asked if someone could be sent out to tidy up the area. She will send them on to AE.
Cllr Jeffers: East Douglas Village – the place was destroyed with rubbish from a local eatery. Every bin was full. Crows tearing it out of the bins. There has to be an onus on the local businesses to show responsibility. Could we do something about this?
Also there is an anti-dumping initiative from the Department. €650k was allocated last year and again this year. Cllr Murphy has a motion about this in at full Council which had to be deferred. Some MDs have applied for funding. Thinks we should be too. Gives funding for extra bins, cameras, drones, etc.
AE: Applications for this are probably managed through the environment section. Possibly is coming down to the anti-litter unit and their resources. Would love to think there was a source of funding for this. We are well aware of that problem from that particular eatery. He has told me in the last month that he will make sure the bins are not overflowing. Spoke to him about two weeks ago.
Cllr Harris: Thinks we should be taking much more action on the playground in Carrigaline. We don’t have anything like that in the park in Douglas and it makes a huge difference. Something needs to be done pretty fast there.
AE: A few years ago Douglas had its problems too. It is helped in Douglas because the Community Association staff open and close the gates of the park. If I could do something in Carrigaline, I’d be doing it. The gardai are aware of it. There is some element of CCTV in the area and they have been looking at it.
Cllr D’Alton: Concurs with Cllr Jeffers on the litter from take-aways. Very bad at the moment. It is a problem that pizza boxes won’t fit into the litter bins with the small round holes. We provide those to deter household dumping. Can’t think of anything we can do directly but is sick of the rubbish.
Understands there is subsidence in the playground in Passage West arising from the Irish Water works. There was subsidence on the park side from the previous Irish Water works. At the time, the MDO had just put a new surface on the playground and it was looking really well. The subsidence followed just afterwards and it was never fixed properly. The cracks were just sealed. It has never been the same and has had several complaints about children falling on it. It is not acceptable that the subsidence on the water side would be dealt with in the same way as that on the park side. Absolutely not ok.
AE: There will be a requirement on the contractor to put this right. The contractor this time is different from the contractor the last time. Will follow up on this with Irish Water and on the previous damage too.
Cllr McGrath: Has spoken about it before, but bollards are missing at the Tesco entrance to the Community Park. Cars are now parking at the entrance.
AE: We have the bollards but just haven’t installed them. That was one of those jobs that just didn’t get done.
Cllr Harris: The limestone blocks on the Tesco side of that entrance are not out on the edge of the footpath and so people are parking on the road side of them. Could they be moved out?
AE: Those blocks mark the extent of the private ground belonging to the shopping centre. Accepts that they would work better if they were closer to the road.
A discussion followed about the desirability to upgrade this uncontrolled pedestrian crossing.
Cllr Murphy asked why the road markings in Passage West have not been refreshed.
AE says that she had explained before that they will be done when Irish Water has finished digging up the roads. They will be done then.
Cllr Murphy asked whether the Council has ever done a one-off cut on the grass on the right hand side going up to Maulbaun, with the GAA looking after it thereafter. The AE said that to the best of her knowledge that in her time, the Council has never cut the grass there. They will not be doing more cutting of general areas than they have already committed to.
Cork County Council intends to construct a pedestrian and cycle link fom the Grange Road, Douglas to the Tramore Valley Park. The proposed 4 metre path is approximately 995 metres long and includes a bridge over the N40 South Ring Road.
There is an existing trail in the woords that starts to the west of Amberley Heights and finishes to the west of Alden Grove. The proposed path will extend this trail to connect with the Grange Road to the south and with the Tramore Valley Park to the north from where the path will continue on through the park and into the city.
Submissions to the planning application can be made until and including Friday, 7th July 2017. Please direct them to the Senior Engineer, Cork County Council, Traffic and Transportation, Floor 10, County Hall, Cork. There is no fee for making a submission.
The planning application documents and drawings are at the following links:
Grange Road to TVP – Update re Part 8 to Ballincollig Carrigaline Municipal District Members
Preliminary Design Report
Route Selection report
Part 8 Planning Drawings Final
EIA Screening with appendices
The Repair and Leasing Scheme is a new scheme launched by Government and run through the local authorities. It aims to increase the supply of social housing by enabling the use of existing housing stock.
Under the Scheme, repair and improvement works to suitable vacant properties are funded to bring them up to the standard for rented accommodation. The cost of the works is then deducted from lease payments over an agreed lease term.
The ideal properties will require a low level of investment to bring them up to standard and it is not envisaged that any level of significant structural works will be required. The Council will be responsible for the maintenance of the property once the lease is signed, will appoint tenants from the housing waiting list, and will manage these tenancies. The property owner will be guaranteed a steady income, regardless of whether the property is vacant.
The maximum funding available per property is €40,000 and the lease term shall be for a period of between ten and twenty years.
Further information can be obtained from the Housing Grants Section at email@example.com or telephone 022 30492 or 022 30415.
Bumblebee Workshop: 24th May
Butterfly Workshop: 25th May
(You can attend one or both.)
Monitoring bumblebee and butterfly populations is an important means of measuring change in the environment as well as the state of habitats for biodiversity. It is also a useful way that both professional ecologists and volunteers can contribute to the conservation of these and other insects.
Tomás Murray of the National Biodiversity Data Centre will introduce the biology and the species of Irish bumblebees and butterflies, and provide training on how to monitor both groups of pollinators according to international standards. You’ll also get to spend a few hours in the field honing your identification skills for both groups and practice the necessary skills to become a recorder for the National Biodiversity Data Centre’s butterfly and bumblebee monitoring schemes.
The course is free of charge and suitable for members of community based organisations with an interest in, or who are actively involved in promoting biodiversity.
9:45 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:45 Introduction to the national monitoring schemes.
11:00 – 12:45 Bumblebee biology and identification.
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 Practice identification and monitoring skills in the field.*
To book: You can register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at: https://www.facebook.com/SECADBTeam/
Overview of Scheme
Cork County Council Community Facilities scheme offers Community and Voluntary groups access to capital funding in order to kick-start, advance or complete their projects. The scheme seeks to address some of the difficulties local community groups face in terms of accessing small-scale levels of funding to match their own fundraising efforts.
The 2017 scheme is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and local Government with support from the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and the Municipal Districts of Cork County Council.
The scheme will offer grants up to a maximum of €1,000 per project.
Examples of what area you can apply for funding include:
The following expenditure is not eligible for funding:
Target groups and thematic areas
Applications should relate to at least one key target group and thematic area below in order to be eligible for consideration.
Application Forms and Guidelines
All applicants must complete use and complete in full the official application form which can be downloaded from Cork County Council website or here:
Applications will only be accepted on the official application form.
Once completed please submit your application by post before 30 June 2017 to:
Mr. Fergal Gough & Ms. Fiona Hayes,
Communities Facilities Scheme 2017,
Cork County Council,
County Library Building,
Please direct any queries on this scheme to: Fergal Gough available at 021- 4285500 or Fiona Hayes 021-4285338
Alternatively you can e-mail your query to email@example.com
1. To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 18thApril 2017
Proposed and seconded.
Cllr Forde asks whether there was an update on her request that we would buy Barry’s Field in Douglas.
MDO was wondering what role we could have in it because there is an active planning file.
Cllr Forde says she understands that further information was requested. Wants an inkling that they would be willing to examine the frame.
Cllr D’Alton asks about Marino Point. She had sent a copy of the bond onto the MDO after the last meeting. Wondered if the planning department had given an update.
The MDO said he had sent the bond on to them. He doesn’t think they had any record of it. He will talk to the Director of Planning but doesn’t think we will get very far.
Cllr D’Alton asks about Dock Terrace. The MDO had agreed to contact the owner and to inspect them.
The MDO said he was in Passage West with Jim Molloy, the new SEO. They are going to talk about Dock Terrace before they do anything more.
Cllr D’Alton confirms that grasscutting will be addressed later in the meeting.
Cllr McGrath had asked at the last meeting about the walkway between Lehenaghmore and Lenhenaghbeg. He would also like an update on the junction between Barry’s and Driscoll’s pub.
AE: Confirmed that the area in Lehenaghmore is belonging to Cork County Council. Is hoping to look at it on the ground and see if the (much depleted) Gateway crew can do small works there. Doesn’t know if it is within their capacity.
Barry’s junction – there are markings there already. Not sure if there is much more that can be done. It is a stop junction. We will try to highlight this.
2. Consideration of Reports and Recommendations
(i) Grange Road – Tramore Valley Park Pedestrian and CycleLink including bridge over the N40
We’re working on this for quite a while. It will run down the valley, past Vernon Mount, cross the N40 and link into existing and future path to the city. It will form part of the overall network of the city environs. The Grange/Frankfield area has restricted access by car. The two routes are very congested and the N40 adds a significant barrier which adds to the congestion. This offers good opportunity to link the area to the city by walking/cycling. The length is less than 1 km and another 1km brings you into the city. We think that if this city were to proceed, it would be quite popular. This is a transportation rather than recreational route. Our primary interest is in transportation.
The Council bought the field at Grange known as the Donkey Field and that allows us to feed directly to the Grange Road. Some of the gradients are steep by the Grange Road and we propose to provide cycle steps. There are seven separate sets of cycle steps designed to deal with this. We also propose a separate longer more meandering route that avoids the steps and will be useable by wheelchairs/buggies.
Public lighting will operate until 10pm and will come back on in the early morning. This arrangement is the same as for Ballybrack and is good for wildlife.
Cllr Jeffers: Very welcome overall. Wanted for a long time. Connectivity is the big issue. Around the back of this would be used a lot for cycling. Measures should be put in place to slow cyclists down because people will go fast on this.
Cllr Desmond wonders if it will ever be closed or is it just that the light will go off at nighttime?
Cllr McGrath: Very positive.
Cllr D’Alton: Despite previous request for a green bridge, the proposed bridge doesn’t look too bad. Thanks Peter O’D for having answered successive emails on this in the past few months. What do cycle steps look like? The width of the main pathway with the steps is indicated as 4 metres but what is that of the meandering path?
Cllr Harris: Will there be security cameras on the bridge? Is it an enclosed structure? For security reasons, thinks it should be.
Cllr Canty supports too. There has always been talk about connectivity to this area from Grange.
Cyclists will have to get off to cycle through the steps. So areas with the higher gradients can’t be sped on. The rest is relatively flat. There is no incentive for cyclists to go fast. Cyclist behaviour is an issue all the time. There are issues with pedestrians as well. Imagines that if this were open it would be popular and heavily used. This is the main reason people will slow down because they have to share. There are no proposals to put in barriers to slow cyclists down.
The proposal is to pick up accesses that are existing and not to close them. Will be open 24-7. The Tramore Valley park will close at night time. That is the exception. Whatever regime is there, we will have to respect that. Expects there will be a gate on the bridge.
Anti-social behaviour – we have built in ducting for security cameras. We should be able to service them without having to lay further ducts. We’ll have to wait and see how the anti-social thing goes. High use is the greatest deterrent to anti-social behaviour. The Passage West line is the best example of that. We have other areas where there are more problems. There were problems in Ballybrack initially although we feel we have resolved that largely. Security cameras aren’t a high cost; the high cost is in the monitoring.
The path is 4 metres wide. We intended that the meandering path would be less because it is not likely to be used very much. Expects 90% of pedestrians/cyclists will use the direct route so this will be 3 metres.. Our approach to these things is to provide 4 m where possible.
Knows there is criticism that this isn’t a green bridge. Normally a green bridge comes when you create severance. In this case we’re providing connectivity rather than severing. The need for us to provide compensating measures isn’t as high as it might be in other situations. Accepts that the concept would be fabulous. It would not be possible at the level of investment we’re able to tap into.
The answer to the security cameras question is something that will have to be dealt with in the longer run.
Cycle steps are just normal steps with a channel at one side. Your wheels go in the channel and you dismount and push your bike.
There is nothing specific in this to stop skateboarders. The issue here is the handrail and how available that might be. This is a preliminary design; we’re going for Part 8. Those kind of details can be addressed afterwards in detailed design.
Funding – this is a significant project. We’re at the €3m level. The bridge is relatively expensive because abutments have to be provided and we have to cross the city and harbour watermain. We will be looking to national agencies to help fund this. The arguments will be that severance has happened there by the provision of other infrastructure and this will provide connectivity. National agencies have been spoken to. They accept that there is a need. There are few projects that give this amount of connectivity.
On enclosure – the intention is not to enclose it. We gave a lot of time to the design of the bridge. Part of the team involved using bridge architects. We looked at a number of options and arrived at this one given the aesthetics and cost. It has high-sided arching and supports so it does not lend itself to anti-social behaviour. There are a number of bridges over the N40 and none of them is enclosed. There is no protection at all on the Blackrock Greenway bridge. To enclose it would make it unattractive to the normal user. We have never done enclosed bridges, not even over railways.
Going forward for the Part 8 is proposed and seconded (Cllr Jeffers and Cllr D’Alton).
(ii) Report of the Economic Development, Enterprise & Community Directorate to Municipal District Committees – Quarterly Report to END of April 2017
Construction has progressed on the development of the community enterprise centre in Dunmanway in conjunction with the local community, Enterprise Ireland, Cork County Council and Clann Credo. This will result in 3 units of enterprise space and office and hotdesking facilities on a site supplied by Cork County Council.
MDO: These reports will be brought to us more often from now and will be tailored for our MD.
Cllr D’Alton asked whether for enterprise centres like this whether we generally own the land in advance or whether we purchase it.
PS: We generally own the land in advance. Dunmanway is part funded by Cork County Council. It was part of a national scheme brought out by Enterprise Ireland a few years ago. Communities could apply for funding but there was a long lead in time. This is probably the last one that will be developed under that scheme. So it is part funded by Enterprise Ireland, part by Cork County Council and part by the local community enterprise group. At the moment the building is largely finished.
Cllr Jeffers asked if we could get facts on employment creation, etc. on grants that are given out for start-up businesses such as these. In particular whether the jobs involved are low-paid or whether they are attractive, fair jobs.
PS: Yes. In general the companies are start ups and employing less than 10 people. He explains the process an entrepreneur will go through to get start up of a micro business. Will ask the Local Enterprise Office the question about the quality of jobs. Cautions that high wages would leave businesses in some sectors (such as restaurants) simply uncompetitive and so wages paid to employees are in part governed by this.
(iii) Section 85 Agreement
Cork County Council, in collaboration with the Office of Public Works (the funding authority for the scheme), intends to undertake engineering works along the Ballybrack Stream, Grange Stream and Tramore River with the objective of minimising the risk of flooding in the areas of Douglas and Togher. The agreement of full Council is to be sought to the entering into a Section 85 agreement with Cork City Council for the purposes of Planning and Construction of Douglas Flood Relief Scheme.
(I left the room to talk to PS.)
(iv) Control of Dogs (Parks and Greenways) Bye-Laws 2017
(Missed the beginning of this discussion.)
MDO: Regional Park has over 3000 people/day.
Cllr Harris: Douglas Community Park – lady walking with her children. Dog comes up and scares her child. She tells the man who owns the dog that he should keep his dog under control. He tells her where to go. That’s not right.
Cllr Jeffers: We shouldn’t rush into this. Thinks we have to take action. People are coming to us. Agree 100% that greenways should have bye-laws for dog control. The parks would be good if we could have designated areas for dog exercise. The long leads are a nightmare. Doesn’t know if we can regulate them. Greenways are built for pedestrians.
Cllr Murphy: Have we the manpower if we introduce these? In the MUGA, they’re still going in there and letting dogs off.
Cllr D’Alton: Have made my opinion clear by email. Think bye-laws are essential on greenways both for dogs on leads and extendable leads. Doesn’t think they should be extended to parks. We can’t implement the laws we’ve got. Especially dog fouling. Sees people going into Marmullane Park every morning with their dogs. They go in when there is no one else around. They keep the dog on a lead going in, let the dog off inside and exercise them off lead because they have no other place. They can’t do it any more on the greenway. They pick up the dog poo, put it into the bin (on which the lock is broken), put the dog back on the lead and go. They are doing no harm to anyone, it is totally responsible but a bye-law would say they can’t do that any more.
MDO: Dogs have to be kept under effective control under the Act. The dog warden says that without bye laws it is very difficult for him to enforce that element of the Act. Cllr D’Alton is misinterpreting what is actually there. Dog warden says that if we want him to be able to go into parks on a regular basis, they have to have bye-laws to be able to deal with the situation. It doesn’t have to be a blanket ban. Suggests that we come up with proposals.
Cllr Canty says that he would be interested in bringing a bye-law in. We brought in our own dog wardens into the Regional Park under cover. They got abused by the dog owners when they remonstrated with them. You have people in wheelchairs and pushing buggies and the dogs are loose. We have to have the staff to implement them if we are going to pass bye-laws. We have five different entrances coming into the regional park so you can’t control it.
MDO says he doesn’t want to put the proposal back to SPC. We will be forever waiting for an answer. Would like us to put it on the agenda for next month and get our feedback in the interim. Maybe introduce time specific bye laws?
Cllr Murphy: This started in Passage West park when I asked for the sign about dangerous dogs to be put up. Maybe we should start there?
Cllr McGrath: The case for the greenway seems clear cut. Suggests that we do the bye laws for here only? Disagrees about not sending the issue to SPC.
MDO: No. If we do it for the greenway only, everyone will ask why we’re not including the parks. It is from people with small children in park that my complaints are coming.
(v) Schedule of Municipal Works 2017
MDO: We should be reporting back at least on a quarterly basis to the MD to see how the budgets are going. We haven’t done that to date. Will do it from now on.
Cllr D’Alton: Last year there was a H11 code which related specifically and only to the Passage West Greenway. Where is that this year and will it mitigate against the walkway that it is not there? Is worried about litter management (E05) and burial ground maintenance (E09) – litter management has nearly halved. Burial ground maintenance down by €34k. Good to see expenditure on regional roads and leisure facilities up. Also wonders about G02 on piers and harbours (G02). Had a motion in November asking that we would work out a schedule of slip maintenance. This was based on Budget 2017 which allocated this MD an additional €50,000 for maintenance of piers and harbours. Doesn’t see that additional money reflected here.
AE: Is not sure if that additional money would show on this. Thinks my request from November is being addressed.
MDO: These are the figures that were adopted in the budget. Will look into the litter and burial grounds.
(vi) Taxi Ranks Douglas
MDO: After consulting on this, the response that we received was that the only mechanism we can use is by making bye laws under the 2013 Act. So it is a matter for us to consider if we want to do this or not. Thought we should talk about it before we draft them. May make more problems than we can solve.
Cllr McGrath: It would require bye law changes. Is happy to proceed with this. Wants us to consult the taxi people. Asked that there would be adequate signage. Makes sense that it would coincide with the pay parking hours. There will be some taxi spaces still outside Ecos – should consider that we still need 4 spaces there. This is a significant enough change there. We will need to clarify that taxi parking will be after hours.
Cllr Jeffers: Sees the valid point of making more spaces available down towards Barrys. Spoke to the taxi people and thinks it important that we consult with them. Doesn’t think it feasible that it would revert at 6pm. Would make policing difficult. Thinks we should consult APCOA. How do we make it visible? Saturday would be an issue. The numbers of taxis increase on a Saturday.
Cllr D’Alton: There is a live planning application on Barry’s Field and if it is granted, the taxi rank will go. Maybe rather than setting into the time and expense of making bye-laws, we should wait until the result of the planning application is clear? It is at further information stage.
MDO: If we’re even going to discuss them with people we’re talking signage, etc. Wrt signage, it is much easier if there is the same rule every day. Doesn’t see it would be possible to change the rule for Saturdays. It makes the signage too complicated. How many spaces do ye want?
Cllr Jeffers says that we should get a formal reply from the taxi people. Have to remember that many of the taxi drivers are self employed and this is their patch. This is the only taxi rank in Cork County and it was hard fought for. We need to respect it.
Cllr Harris: Thinks we should leave this well alone, especially with the planning application.
Cllr McGrath: There are different views here. There are 10 spaces there; parking is at a premium during the day but taxis don’t use it much during the day. Have never seen more than one or two only during the day. But it is not so straightforward to bring in the bye-law change. The enforcement issue is a valid one. APCOA continue until 6pm – who enforces afterwards? Thinks the issue was worth considering.
Cllr Canty: Wait until the development is finalised and a decision is taken. We can revisit then.
(i) Response from TII re Ringaskiddy Playground – N28
Cllr D’Alton: Can’t help noticing that this is the first time since I was elected that we have had a response from TII on TII headed paper. Just thinks it is so sad that we’re reduced to this for a pedestrian crossing in the heart of a village in an industrial area beside a children’s playground. Brought both this and the Castlewhite-N71 junction up at the Southern Committee meeting this morning. The CRDO said that they would look at it in the next couple of weeks.
Cllr McGrath: Concurs. Ringaskiddy is in a unique situation. The playground is on one side of the road, the village on the other. Worries about the required studies TII outlines. Fears Ringaskiddy may not qualify.
Cllr D’Alton asks the AE whether she is familiar with protocol for getting pedestrian crossings in other villages with national roads running through them.
AE: Thinks that what the CRDO has already done is what they are asking for here. Other villages with national roads would be Innishannon, Castlemartyr – these are similar but have higher through traffic. Towns like these will be asking for pedestrians crossings also. So competitively it may be difficult to make the case for Ringaskiddy.
Cllr McGrath: Can we ask TII to give credence to some of the unique circumstances in Ringaskiddy? Heavy industry, etc.
AE: Expects that if the CRDO is to be asked to look at it, it is to them we should be writing.
Agreed we would do this.
(ii) Response from TII re N71 – Castlewhite Junction
4. Disposal of Property
(i) Grant of Wayleave and Right-of-Way at Douglas, Co. Cork to CADO Pvt. Limited, Cinema World, Douglas, Co Cork (plus owners and occupiers of adjoining and adjacent premises) for the consideration of €5,000 plus Council’s costs.
(ii) Grant of Wayleave and Right-of-Way at Douglas, Co. Cork to Douglas Central Properties Limited, 48 Upper Drumcondra Road, Dublin for the consideration of €5,000 plus Council’s costs.
MDO: This was brought to last month’s meeting and we agreed to revisit it. It has come back to this month’s meeting as two separate proposals.
AE: The right of way is being sought because the owners will need to cross Council land.
Cllr Harris: We should be asking a higher price for this. It is prime land.
MDO: We’re giving a right of way, not selling the land. The costs involved will be split between the two applicants.
Cllr D’Alton: Will the right of way be developed so that it is an actual road? Does this mean the tree line will go? There is informal parking under the trees used by MacDonalds because often their car park is full. Will this be gone too? Also you say it is to facilitate the planning permission but there is no planning permission on this site. The one in 2011 has expired and another has been lodged recently for an extension but wonders is there a precedent for considering an extension when the original permission has lapsed? We shouldn’t be facilitating a development that doesn’t have planning permission.
AE: Thought the planning permission hadn’t fully expired. Thought they had put in for an extension somewhere along the way.
Cllr McGrath agrees with Cllr Harris that this is a very low figure. The site owners are looking for something significant from the Council in terms of access.
Cllr Jeffers agres with them. Also agrees with Cllr D’Alton on tree line and parking.
AE: The strip of ground in question isn’t the width of the table. It is still providing access but is very small. These are two properties – one derelict and one semiderelict. Thinks it is in everybody’s interest to get these places developed.
MDO: The area is 0.004 of a hectare. You couldn’t get a shopping trolley through it!
Cllr McGrath suggests we send it back to the Property Section looking for an explanation as to how it was arrived at. This was agreed.
Grasscutting in difficult estates:
AE got an estimate of €6,000 for all three estates, i.e. €1,800 + VAT per cut for three cuts. Cautions that if we do this for these three estates, many more estates will be asking next year.
Cllr Jeffers: Speaking of Pinecroft in particular, it is an area that is not owned by any particular part of the estate. The residents will never cut it if we don’t.
MDO: There are other estates throughout the MD that have other large green areas. They can and will demand the same. We are talking about consistency ourselves across the MD. Most of the estates which have larger green areas are larger estates with aging populations. If we do it this year we’ll have two or three times the number of requests next year.
Cllr O’Donnabhain asks what we’re doing with Muskerry Estate and Highfield in Ballincollig. People are getting old in Muskerry and in Highfield, the residents on one side can afford to pay whilst those on the other can’t.
Cllr Canty: We always gave our own Council estates ride ons and amenity grants, but if this is happening, I’ll be the first to be asking for our estate to be cut next year.
Cllr Jeffers: Thinks this is more highlighting a deficiency generally with regard to maintenance of estates.
Cllr Desmond: Everyone wants their road done; everyone wants their footpath done. We prioritise these every year. Doesn’t think the 3 cuts would satisfy residents in other areas. Parkgate, for example, is meticulous and they have a huge green area. But they don’t want the Pinecroft arrangement. These 3 estates that were mentioned the last day keeping being renamed as the ones that are problematic.
Cllr Harris: These residents cut their grass; ownership of the large green areas is the issue.
Cllr McGrath: The way we’ve approached this in the last few years has been a fudge. We have operated by the squeaky wheel approach. Wants a transparent system put in place now. These are not traditional greens.
Cllr Jeffers: Agreed. People are saying they are paying their property tax and that they get nothing for it.
Cllr Desmond: Have been approached by other wanting their grass cut and have told them it won’t be done. Give us some credit!
MDO: This will have to come out of GMA. The Area Office doesn’t have the budget.
Agreed that it would be done.
6. Notices of Motion
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:
Cllr. D Forde
Cllr Forde wasn’t present.
Cllr. M R Desmond
AE: The school has to carry out road 3 safety audit as part of planning permission. Understands the safety issue arises when leaving the school. Our last approach has been to try to get the school to carry out that stage 3 audit. We can then see what would be the best location for this crossing.
AE: This is no problem.
Cllr. S McGrath
Cllr McGrath: This issue has come to me as a public rep. It isn’t a surprise that we need to cut the grass until March. Presume there is an explanation as to why it wasn’t cut until May and would like to hear it.
AE: The grasscutting contract didn’t go out until later this year. There were several reasons for that. A lot of areas formerly done by the Gateway staff have to come back into the contract. Crosshaven had to be included. We were also busy and the weather was so favourable the growing season came on us earlier. There were many areas around Carrigaline that were done as an extension of our last contract. This year’s contract itself started in mid April. The full area wasn’t completed until early May but there were plenty of areas done well before that. The first cut takes the longest. Hopes that there will be a noticeable improvement and will make it easier going forward.
AE confirms that there is an uncontrolled crossing at Ashgrove roundabout at present and this is to upgraded in association with the campus. Ballinrea Cross equally so.
Cllr McGrath: Something unsavoury was left in the playground recently. The idea of locking it has come up. Is this something we can consider? Do the reports to your office merit it? The gardai get called there on occasion and sometimes lock the playground themselves.
In Douglas they pay someone to do it.
AE: We are aware there is a problem. A member of staff does it in the Regional Park. It is done voluntarily in Douglas through the community association. The issue of locking it is down to financial resources.
MDO: Even if you lock the playground, they’ll still have access to the park.
Cllr Murphy: Same in Passage. There’s bigger young fellas there late at night. Maybe the gardai should be more active.
Cllr D’Alton: Similar issue in Monkstown playground recently. A swing has been detached and the surface of the playground damaged. In Passage they hang out after hours but they’re just sitting; there is no damage. Monkstown has a park situation similar to Carrigaline. Have always been conscious when this issue came up before wrt Passage that Pat O’Sullivan used to say when the playground in Carrigaline was installed first it was locked. There was more damage then than when it was subsequently left open. Opening it removed the challenge.
Cllr Harris: Suggests we look at lighting there. Thinks lighting is poor in the park.
MDO: Tidy Towns people would then complain that we were disturbing the birds and bats.
Cllr McGrath: Doesn’t agree that there more issues when the park was locked. There are more issues there now. Some are of an unsavoury nature. Gardai who were there when the park was locked say that there were fewer incidents when the park was locked. Thinks that if this get worse, we will have to be prepared to act on it.
Cllr. D Canty
Residents are very upset. This is coming in under the radar.
Cllr Canty thanks the engineer for the responses.
Cllr. E Jeffers
Cllr Jeffers: Last works done here was 10 years ago. To the RHS of entrance the path is away from the wall. Is hazardous.
Cllr Jeffers: There used to be a nice patch here where the residents planted flowers. Nice features and the Grange Road lacks features. Would there be scope there that the residents could develop a small little area. They want a clean patch, perhaps could be done in relation with Douglas Tidy Towns.
AE: There is a very active residents group in Grange Heights. They have approached us before in relation to tidy up that area at the entrance to the estate. Many are now moving on a bit. We would be willing to help them out. Needs to be teased out a bit more. Not sure if we could do much but it would be would be willing to assist if plans were scaled back over a small area.
We’re well aware about the footpaths. We will address next year and if there is an isolated hazard, let us know.
Cllr Jeffers: Glad to see there have been contribution levies put in place for this.
Cllr. D O’Donnabhain
Cllr O’Donnabhain: Asking for someone for Friday, Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays to be employed. There have been some unsavoury incidents recently. Gives some examples of when rules weren’t obeyed. Describes an issue which led to the late opening of the park. Attempt by person to bring a sulky into the park. People not enforcing the dangerous dogs act. We need a full time warden. So much money has been spent in this park that it warrants it.
MDO: There is a financial implication with this proposal. We have to have at least 2 people. Can’t do with one. Staffing is something for the CE and we can refer this to him.
Cllr O’Donnabhain: This is an issue that was brought up at a recent meeting. Thinks it would be great if it came as a proposal from this MD.
Cllr D’Alton: It was brought up as part of the signage policy development at the Environment SPC. Was proposed but didn’t gain any traction. The disbenefits of election posters outweigh the benefits. Think it would be excellent if this MD could propose.
Cllr McGrath: We had this decision taken at full Council in the past. It wasn’t approached nationally. The idea of designated areas for postering is the way to go. To me, health and safety is the biggest issue. The posters can fall or blow off on top of a car.
The MDO explained that this is a decision that can be taken only nationally. We can’t introduce bye-laws ourselves to cover this. We can make an alternative proposal to contact the Department about it. Cllr O’Donnabhain would need to accept this alternative proposal as an amendment to his motion
Cllr D’Alton suggests wording. Cllr O’Donnabhain accepts. It was agreed that the MD writes to the Department to ask them to pass bye-laws to prohibit the hanging of election posters in public places.
Cllr O’Donnabhain: Describes dreadful parking in this area. Can be packed with cars leading to hazard, in particular with cars parking on the bend. Gardai didn’t respond when called about it. If the fire brigade had been called to the park, they couldn’t access it. So asking for double yellow lines to be painted.
7. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr Desmond for Peter O’Keeffe of Frankfield.
Cllr Murphy for Cody Barrett – won gold medal in karate nationals
Cllr Harris for Peter O’Flynn – Mr. Cork body building championship
Cllr Jeffers for Everton Football Club – senior team for promotion
8. Any Other Business
Cllr Jeffers: Land beside Douglas GAA Club is for sale. Asks that the Council would make a serious community investment in buying this patch of land. It is a place of anti-social behaviour, so has a dual benefit.
Cllr D’Alton and Cllr Harris support. Cllr D’Alton says there is an acknowledged shortage of recreational space in Douglas.
Cllr McGrath says he has already spoken to the CE about this but no harm that it is brought up at MD level too.
MDO asks whether Douglas GAA has not bought additional land recently.
Cllr Jeffers says the land is unlikely to be suitable for anything other than recreation.
Cllr D’Alton describes latest damage in the Monkstown playground. AE says she got a phone call to the office about it also and they will look at it.
Cllr McGrath says there are bollards on the R610 between Raffeen Tce and N28 that are unsightly. Asks that they would be looked at. Also there is a manhole by the entrance to Robert’s Bridge car park. The surface of the road around it has broken away.
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000: Proposed Development of Pedestrian and Cycle Greenway and Ancillary Works from Glenbrook to Raffeen Bridge
Cllr Canty (FG): As Chair of the Municipal District, is pleased to propose this project. It would be a great asset to the Monkstown – Raffeen area.
Cllr Desmond (FF): Is against the proposal as it stands. Acknowledges the work that has been done in-house but there are concerns with this particular route. Takes in an existing and established walkway. Is predominantly used by elderly people. The shared use is what is causing the issue. The primary users of this pathway would be like skittles. There is a strong tradition of fishing off the quay wall. That’s posing a problem too. Very disappointed that the concerns that have been raised by Members and the public haven’t been able to be addressed.
Cllr Collins (FG): Supports Cllr Canty in proposing this. Thinks it a pity that a section of a 25km walk from Páirc Uí Chaoimh to Crosshaven would be discontinued for this section. It’s not for the people of Monkstown, Glenbrook and Raffeen; it’s for everyone. We’re trying to encourage everyone to get out and be active. Very disappointing that there isn’t support for it. There are safety issues but the greenway from Carrigaline to Crosshaven is a shared space as is the rest of the line and there have yet to be accidents.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks the team working in-house on this, especially Clare Cronin, for a very long time. Think the concept was first introduced to us in 2012. Am generally very much in favour of development of greenways all around Cork Harbour. Many years ago a railway line ran between Blackrock and Crosshaven. A greenway has been developed along the route between Blackrock and Passage West and between Carrigaline and Crosshaven. It is off road nearly all the way. This proposal is for part of the section that would connect the two. In one section it isn’t for off-road but on an existing footpath. Many of the older and more vulnerable users who couldn’t deal with the bicycles on the Passage West to Hop Island section moved to this footpath for walking. It is wide and flat and known as the Cardiac Mile. It is their only physical and social outlet. They will not be able to share this surface with bikes and so they will have nowhere to go. The path runs alongside a busy, fast moving regional road. There is real risk to cyclists of falling off the path onto the road. They are totally unprotected. But there a second stretch of this proposed route where the road is winding and dangerous and here we can provide off-road greenway. Would be real benefits from developing this section. If this part of the proposal could be separated out, would support. But it is being presented as one proposal and so very sadly cannot support it.
Cllr Jeffers (SF): Sinn Féin won’t be supporting this proposal. Elderly people use this walkway because it is not congested with traffic. We are in favour of cycle lanes. In Passage, people are not using the route because of the business. This is too close to a busy road. Has been speaking to a few anglers on the walkway. They have been there for years. There has been accommodation further down but they won’t use that point because the fishing isn’t good for them there. They say they won’t move from the place they fish in.
Cllr Forde (FG): Very seldom that I disagree with you, Mayor, but have to say that we don’t live in an ideal world. Not all projects are ideal. It’s not long ago that people in Rochestown didn’t even have footpath. They had to walk against a wall and you know what the population of Rochestown is like. Hop Island to Passage West is a wonderful amenity. The Blackrock Greenway is a wonderful amenity. It is not ideal – dogs running loose, cyclists. I travel extensively and when I go abroad I see that shared surfaces are normal. You get used to the bicycle bells. We will lose the money if we don’t pass this proposal. Thinks we should pass and adapt as time goes on, improving on the bits that aren’t entirely satisfactory. Supports.
Cllr Harris (Ind): On balance, thinks we should support it. It has been around a long time. These issues that have been raised can be dealt with in the fullness of time. On the balance of evidence, supports.
Cllr Murphy (SF): I cycle a lot around that area. Is worried because the one from Rochestown isn’t working if you listen to the people around the area.
Cllr McGrath (FF): From the outset has raised serious concerns about the shared use of the footpath. Had hoped that the issues would be addressed through the process but they haven’t. Appreciates that there are physical restrictions. Compliments Clare Cronin on the work she has done. My position has been consistent on shared use. Thinks it should have a 4 metre width similar to the Douglas Amenity Park. We have two existing greenways. Sees issues with them very regularly. People don’t know what side of the path they should be at. There’s no proper Code of Conduct in place. Gets complaints from users. Thinks there is a particular safety issue with the path beside the busy regional road. Especially with families on bicycles which is the type of user we’re promoting. Put forward a number of suggestions that didn’t happen. Isn’t prepared to support it. It is now proposed to suspend the greenway through Monkstown; thinks it should be extended further to accommodate existing walkers. The harbour has to be for all users.
CE: Continous development of the Cork Harbour Greenway is a prioritised project within the Council. There is significant demand from other regions for in-house resources to develop other greenways. There are certain constraints in the area as there would be in developing any other greenway. We’re not talking about a shared footpath; we’re talking about a shared greenway. Can assure members that this particular greenway is designed within the guidelines that are there to provide for safe greenways and situations that are not dangerous to users. Provides for a variety of widths. Is reduced to 3 metres in the section that is causing the challenge. Is still within the guidelines. Members might recall that the Waterford greenway is 3 metres wide, albeit in a different scenario. It is neither lined nor segregated. It is natural that there would be a level of uncertainty among certain users. Went there myself. Spent time, walked it. Saw leisure cyclists using the existing footpath as a shared space on the footpath that is causing the problem. So we are increasing safety for the people currently using it. Members need to consider this. There will be no other proposal coming before Council on this particular section of greenway.
Cllr Linehan Foley (Ind) speaks of how wonderful the Waterford Greenway is and what an asset it is to the region.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind) says the Waterford Greenway is a totally different scenario. There is a far lower level of use there. This proposal is for a commuter route in a suburban area. Many Members voiced their disagreement with this.
Cllr Canty (FG) repeats the proposal. Cllr Forde (FG) says we’ll lose €3.5m of funding.
The proposal is put to a vote. 22 in favour, 20 against, 3 abstain. The proposal is carried.
Another gruesomely last minute submission to what was too important a consultation not to have an input to. Submissions on the National Clean Air Strategy were invited by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment. It would be rewarding if even some of the actions asked for below were given credence in the final Strategy.
Cllr Marcia D’Alton
To whom it may concern
I should be grateful if the following comments would be taken into account in the drafting of the National Clean Air Strategy.
All Environmental Impact Statements accompanying planning applications should be required to measure down to at least PM1. At present, planning applications rarely discuss particulates smaller than PM2.5.
Establish a network of units monitoring air pollution in real time so that communities can be informed of air quality in their local area. At present, the network of real time monitoring is abysmal and not at all in compliance with Ireland’s requirements under European legislation. Critical parameters would include PM10, PM2.5, PM1 and ozone. Real time results would be made fully accessible to all through the internet.
Install comprehensive ambient air monitoring units in all Strategic Employment Areas and zones of industrial development.
Through the planning process, establish a minimum acceptable distance of 300 metres between schools and busy roads.
Develop a policy of constructing ring roads around cities, thereby keeping traffic from travelling unnecessarily through residential areas. Urban motorways through residential areas must be discouraged at all costs. As mentioned in the discussion document, residential areas already deal with the build-up of residential pollutants. It is absolutely unacceptable that they would also have to deal with pollutants from traffic on urban motorways.
Encourage dense planting of mature trees along major roads to act both as a visual/psychological barrier between traffic and residential homes and as a pollutant sink.
Extend the financing of significantly enhanced public transport to areas outside of Dublin. At present, many living in suburban homes in cities outside of Dublin cannot take their cars off the road long enough to get them valeted. A congestion charge as suggested in the discussion document would be entirely unacceptable when no reasonable alternative to the private car is on offer. That is the case for those living in most urban areas outside of Dublin.
Facilitate the development of cycling as a real alternative to the private car. Policy and funding needs to stop considering cycling within periurban as recreational. In my Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District of County Cork, greenways compete for the same tiny funding pot as tourism routes such as the Waterford Greenway. Yet the level of bicycle/pedestrian traffic they are expected to carry in what are generally more restricted spaces is vast multiples of that which the more rural routes carry. They need separate consideration and additional, dedicated investment.
Most major ports are adjacent to residential areas. Yet there is never any independent ambient air monitoring to assuage affected residents. This is especially critical for ports handling bulk cargo. It is imperative that all major ports would be obliged to install real-time ambient air monitoring to measure parameters representative of the by-products of engine and generator emissions. It is equally imperative that all ports, regardless of size, which handle bulk cargo would be obliged to install real-time monitoring to measure levels of particulate in ambient air.
Shoreside electrical power to be provided at all ports which ships berthing overnight should be obliged to use in preference to their own generators.
Often the most polluting offenders in a port situation are partner companies conveying, handling and storing dusty bulk cargo in warehouses and grain stores adjacent to the port. These companies are not subject to any form of monitoring either by the Environmental Protection Agency or the local authority. Nor at the time of planning application are they considered to be potential pollutors under the Air Pollution Act. This must change.
Disappointing to see that waste to energy gets only a glancing mention in the discussion document. National waste policy sets an upper acceptable limit for the combined capacity of waste to energy facilities to be provided in Ireland. Taking both constructed and permitted facilities into account, this national upper capacity limit has been reached. Therefore in accordance with current waste policy, planning permission should not be granted for any additional waste to energy facilities in Ireland. Energy from the combustion of residual waste is not clean energy. Feedstock is unpredictable and dirty. Emissions quality is utterly dependent on the efficacy of a series of scrubbers and other pollution control equipment. Energy conversion into electricity is grossly inefficient.
European policy is that waste combustion in incinerators must always be classified as waste disposal (D10) unless it can prove that it is energy recovery (R1). In Ireland, we grant planning permission to incinerators merely on the promise of their delivering R1. It is essential that Irish policy reflects European policy in this regard and that the infrastructure necessary to efficiently use both the heat and electricity generated by the waste combustion process would form an integral part of the planning application for any new incineration facility.
Vastly improved resourcing for local authorities to carry out their functions under the Air Pollution Act is essential. At present, they are barely struggling. Perhaps consider an environmental fund at national level financed via pollution levies which could, over a defined period of time, be used to fund the setting up of properly resourced air monitoring functions within local authorities.
We have no strategies in place in this country by which to tackle existing pollution. For example, ambient air monitoring in the village of Monkstown on the shores of Cork Harbour, was conducted by the EPA over a 7 month period during 2007/2008. It found that levels of PM10 were high. The resulting recommendation was that PM10 would be monitored continuously. In the following 12 years, traffic has multiplied, permission has been granted for a major port facility nearby, third party grain storage and handling has increased, new industrial facilities have established and planning permission is now being sought to convey all port goods by road via an urban motorway. Yet ambient levels of any size of particulate matter have never been measured again.
I attach a motion I proposed to Cork County Council in February 2016 requesting real-time ambient air monitoring in Cork Harbour.
Independent Member, Cork County Council
Mobile: 085 – 7333852
A revised and updated application form for the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District Streetscape Painting and Signage Scheme is at the following link. The application form contains all the guidelines for the Scheme. This year, the Scheme is being offered to enhance the main streets of Passage West and Douglas.
The Municipal Districts Creative Communities Scheme is open for applications as of today, Friday, April 28th.
The Creative Communities Scheme aims to promote partnership models of arts activity in each of Cork County’s eight Municipal District areas. The scheme will provide funding to enable community bodies, creative artists, local arts groups, and others to come together as local partnerships to plan and deliver an arts project that will achieve a significant enhancement to cultural and social life in their area.
We are looking for:
A relatively long period has been allowed for groups to come together to plan and develop ideas. This takes time, so the closing date for applications is Friday, June 23rd.
Official scheme guidelines and the application form are here:
CORK COUNTY MUNICIPAL DISTRICTS guidelines 2017 final
CORK COUNTY MUNICIPAL DISTRICTS Creative Communities Scheme application form Final
Tenders are being opened in the Chamber. They relate to the fitting out of the motor tax office.
Mayor proposes a suspension of standing orders at 1pm for discussion of issues in the Local Area Plan.
1. Confirmation of Minutes
Will be done at 1pm.
2. Votes of Sympathy
Cllr Frank O’Flynn had a vote of sympathy.
3. Disposal of Property
Bandon – Kinsale Municipal District Meeting, 27th January, 2017:(a) Disposal of property at Camden Fort Meagher, Crosshaven.
4. Section 19 of the Local reenwayovernment Act, 2001:
Filling of Vacancies on Housing SPC, Arts Culture & Languages SPC and LCDC West Committees
Cllr K Murphy proposes Cllr John O’Sullivan. Seconded by Cllr M Hegarty. For all three committees.
Head of Finance:
CE: We are required to bring a capital report showing proposed expenditure. It isn’t setting out a whole range of projects. We all know there are lots of things we’d like to progress. This simply captures the entirety of what we’d like to do if we had funding.
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Lots to be welcomed in this. Particularly recreation and amenity. Discuss playground improvement programme please. Worthwhile seeing that reinstated. Hopes we might get a briefing at Municipal District level about how this will be implemented. Also welcomes footpaths; thinks the commitment to footpaths should be more. It works out at only about €120k per Municipal District per year. Kanturk Mallow is subventing footpaths at Municipal District level. Thinks we need to look at this again at budget time.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): Welcomes. €2.6bn extra was mentioned from the Southern Assembly between 2018 – 2021. Cooperation between 3 cities in the southern region, which is critical. In the report, they mentioned that some of the €2.6bn should be spent at the discretion of local authorities. Asks that the priority would be put on rural towns and rural villages. Have we made that application in conjunction with the Southern Assembly? Have we backed up the Southern Assembly’s primary objective about the M20?
Cllr Hegarty (FG): Thanks Lorraine. Very encouraging. Thought we were now renting/leasing our fleet. So what is fleet investment about? The €4.2m on the 2nd slide. What is that about?
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Huge increase on previous programme. Rolling programme is to be welcomed. Overall figure transferred from the revenue budget to the capital budget? Any money to be transferred from the capital budget to revenue? Housing – in the last 3 year programme there was €15.1m put into affordable housing. Has that come to an end? Also the DPG grants, there was €700k committed before. Doesn’t see it committed now? Housing programme – in 2015 we were given figures of 469 units provided in the county. 168 were under social leasing. But the national oversight and audit committee report says it is 52 short of the figure we were given last year. Why? 98 local authority builds and acquisitions – we were told this last year. But more recent report said 90. Voids numbers are different too giving a shortage of 29 houses. Can these be explained. Delivery of 429 units is to be very much welcomed. LIHAF – €27.3 is contractually committed but we’ve received funding for €15m and we have to come up with €5m. That’s €20m. So where is the €27.3 coming from?
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks Lorraine. Footpaths and roads are both included under the “roads” category. Cyclepaths and facilities for bikes are always included in “recreation and amenity” or in something else. Could they please be included under roads also because unless we start the mindset of planning for them from the outset, they will never be a real alternative to the car. Also we are very anxious to improve the appearance of our town centres. Many are blighted by dereliction which we can put right using compulsory purchase. It would be good to see provision for CPO in the capital budget. Last year’s capital budget was for a spend of €165k, with €50k of required funding to be found through grants and other means. Would like to know how much of that €50k we succeeded in getting.
Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Welcomes long term planning for quality of life. Voids are taking too long to turn around. CBL is working very well. There is nothing worse than a Council house lying idle. Parking in estates, especially older estates, is a big issue. People have to have cars; there are no buses and no trains. When I ask, the answer is “no funding”. Regional and local roads – I understand our funding is back 10%. We have to look after these. Playground programme is very welcome. There was serious damage done again to the playground in Fermoy recently. A disgrace. Perhaps there should be CCTV put in. On Mallow Relief Road and M20 – thanks Michael Lynch who did a lot of work on this. Asks the Mayor is there any update on when we can meet the Minister. Now there is rumour about a new line for the road going through Cahir and Mitchelstown. This is crazy; it must go through Mallow.
Cllr Carroll (FF): Thanks all. Very encouraging budget. Makes a strong case for the state of the roads. They are away behind the standards that you find around the rest of the county. The southern region and the €2.6bn is not to be sneezed at. Hopes the Council has a submission made for a slice of that money. There are a lot of villages and towns losing out because of the lack of LEADER money. This is a golden opportunity to replace that and bring life back into those villages and towns again. Hopes the Council has made a submission.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Thanks for report. Asks that we clarify the housing element. You said we would look at borrowing for land purchase. Is it built in that the Council would borrow for construction of houses also? There are good sources of borrowed funds available now. Welcomes the number of projected housing completions but think it is completely inadequate in terms of the need. It is one of the biggest crises in our society. If it means borrowing money to deliver houses, thinks we should.
Cllr Doyle (FF): welcomes the MD funding in particular. Especially public realm, footpath, parks and playgrounds improvements. Mid term review of the roads programme is up during the summer. Highlights the need for the M20 and the route of the M20. Maybe some of the €2.6bn could be used in the short term to provide relief roads to the likes of Charleville and Mallow?
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Ambitious programme and welcome. Maintenance and upgrade of national secondary routes is never mentioned. €680k for the county is invested in this as a whole. A disgrace: they are the forgotten routes. Thinks this should increase to several million. Wonders if we can look for an opening to fund these.
Cllr T Collins (Ind): Importance of the M20. It should not go through Mitchelstown. Huge bad bends there where people have been killed before. If the M20 is put in place, this would solve the problem there. Should go from Cork to Mallow to Limerick. Would improve Buttevant and Charleville. The Mallow Relief Road cannot be forgotten.
Cllr S McCarthy (FG): Thanks Lorraine. National roads budget is €86m. Regional and local roads is €9m. Understands TII is the national roads authority but wonders why while there is huge investment needed in national roads, the smaller roads are suffering drastically. Is this allocation to national roads because it is locked in money from TII? Maybe it is more a national issue that we need to look at this breakdown and disparity?
Head of Finance:
Cllr O’Grady (SF): Wants year on year figures for transfer from revenue to capital over 3 years. Asks more about LIHAF.
Lorraine: Has them and will send out. 3 housing schemes which haven’t progressed would be in Kanturk, Cobh and Mogeely. There are not included in 2017. But there are others coming in under social leasing.
CE: We have to fund 25% of the €20m – LIHAF. The LIHAF doesn’t fund land purchase around spine roads so we will have to do that.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): On the Southern Assembly. We have a problem with LEADER funding. Is a particular problem in Cork.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Are our hands tied that the Council can’t put together a programme for investment in housing to respond to the housing crisis?
CE: What we do on housing is governed by 6 year housing strategy. Covers a whole range of housing options. Our funding comes directly from the department and we try to achieve the targets set by that 6 year programme. That’s the way it works.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Knows this. But Council has its own revenue. Is it ok for us to put together a far more ambitious programme?
CE: I would have to bring that programme to Council for approval. When there is a funded government strategy in place, I can’t bring another proposal to Council for borrowing. Government has account of our need and requirement and will fund that through the various forms of social housing support.
Cllr O’Cadhla (Ind): Can we as a Council bring forward a proposal?
CE: To bring a proposal for borrowing, I have to be satisfied that we can secure it for a particular purpose to respond to Council’s investment programmes. I am told by government that they will deliver on what we need so I see no need to outside of that.
Cllr Doyle (FF): LIHAF – this is for infrastructure. In a town like Charleville which is zoned for 800 houses or so, we will never have the infrastructure. Is it possible to get some of that funding towards infrastructure of this nature.
CE: We will have to come back to the Council for support to borrow for this. We got good funding from LIHAF in the context of allocations nationally. Borrowing to pay for the infrastructural deficits in towns like Charleville, etc. would be based on our capacity to borrow. I would borrow if I were sure that number of houses were going to be delivered by a developer to support the borrowing so I could get it paid back. At the moment, I don’t see that happening.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): There is a separate capital fund in the housing department to build roads to facilitate development. If there are 750 plannings in Charleville, there should be funding from the housing department because there is general acceptance that those 750 houses cannot be built until the traffic problem in Charleville is solved.
CE: The funding was the LIHAF funds. We weren’t successful that the level of investment there would not deliver that number of houses. If there is another round of LIHAF, we will go back in and look for more for Charleville and other towns like it.
Mayor: This year’s capital budget represents a good sum of money and a nice increase in last year. We have a provisional date with Minister Ross towards the end of June. Request was in since last October. We have asked that it would be brought forward. Confirmed that it would be cross party.
Reports and Recommendations
6. Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000: Proposed Development of Pedestrian and Cycle Greenway and Ancillary Works from Glenbrook to Raffeen Bridge.
To be deferred. It will be on the next full Council meeting.
7. Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District
MANAGER’S REPORT UNDER SECTION 179, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT ACT, 2000: L6506 Ferney Road Improvement Scheme, Carrigaline, Co. Cork
8. Reports from the International and EU Affairs Committee
(a) Report on proposed Sister Agreement with Miami Dade County.
Cllr Coleman (Ind): It is 20 years since we last signed a sister agreement. That was with Cook County and it has been very successful. The most critical thing Miami Dade brings is the cruise industry. It is the heart of the cruise industry and we will see 7 cruises coming to Cork this year. That is as a result of the hard work of the County Council. Food ingredients is a big area too as is agriculture. Hopes this Council will endorse the signing of a sister agreement and hopes if it progresses well, it will move forward to a formal twinning.
Cllr M Hegarty (FG): If it was only a quarter as successful as what we have with Cook County, it will be phenomenal. We have many similarities and will give us lots of opportunities to grow our links. Formally seconds.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG): Welcomes and speaks on the importance of these visits. From West Cork’s point of view, we welcome the 7 cruise liner visits. The work of the Council often goes unrecognised in these areas. Would like to see more relationships with Port of Cork developed too.
The sister agreement was approved.
(b) Tourism and Trade Mission to the U.S.
Mayor: This is on the agenda for information.
Correspondence from Government Departments
9. Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Letter dated 16th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding bird flu virus.
Response to Cllr Collins’ motion: ‘Bird Flu Virus.pdf’
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Pleased to note requirement to keep birds confined. Thanks the Department and Michael Creed, TD.
10. Department of Justice and Equality
Letter dated 16th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 13th February, 2017, regarding amendment of the Valuation Act 2001
Response to Cllr D’Alton’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Justice & Equality.pdf’
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Extraordinary irony that the issue the Oireachtas is concerned with is ensuring there is no discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas. They are utterly forgetting about the discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas and the public. If they want parity and not to support discrimination, rates should be payable on all constituency offices whether within the Oireachtas or not.
Cllr O’Grady (SF): We received a letter from Minister Coveney saying he would be bringing forward legislation on rates. Has the Council made a submission on this. May give us an opportunity to work something?
Cllr O’Shea (Ind): Cllrs have to pay rates if they have constituency offices. That was brought up when the motion was discussed. That is discriminating to us too. Suggests that if we are writing back we would ask that this is noted.
Cllr O’Flynn: Thinks we should treat all public representatives the same.
CE: The proposed legislation from Minister Coveney is being drafted to strengthen local authorities’ powers in relation to rates. Hasn’t seen the draft legislation. Once it is legislation, is sure it will become part of our discussions.
We agreed that we would write back.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Ask that the legislation would be relooked at so that it doesn’t support discrimination between Members of the Oireachtas and the public. In other words, rates should be imposed on all constituency offices regardless of where they are located, whether in the Dáil or otherwise. But if they are adamant they won’t relook at the legislation then the least they can do is to produce legislation which is equally supportive of all public reps.
11. Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment:
Letter dated 24th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 20th February, 2017, regarding a moratorium on solar energy power plants in County Cork
Response to Cllr Murphy’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Communications
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Is disgusted with the response. Doesn’t agree that planning code is sufficiently robust. Have spoken to Minister Coveney. He said he would look at guidelines going forward. They should be included in the framework. Otherwise there will always be a question. They should be in place early on.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): The Minister says his function is to encourage renewable energy. We’re not discouraging this; we just want to control development within the sector. Guidelines would provide greater clarity. The court case imminent on wind farms shows what happens when there are no guidelines in place. In Cork, there appears to be a high concentration of solar planning applications within the county. Thinks we should write back to the Minister. Wonders should the Environment SPC look at this? Up to last October there were 22 planning applications lodged for solar farms.
Cllr Doyle (FF): Agrees with Cllr Murphy. Solar farms are new to our planning department. They are various sizes, scale and we have no understanding of the effect they may have on our rural areas, runoff, visual impact, construction, etc. It is an unacceptable response. We have seen what has happened to wind farms and the distance between wind farms and houses Europe-wide has now changed.
Cllr Coleman (Ind): Cork County Council was the first to come up with pilot guidelines on windfarms. Thinks the PPU could do pilot guidelines on solar farming too.
Agreed that we would write back. Cllr O’Grady supports that the PPU would help us develop our own.
CE: Assures the members that these applications are always assessed against the various policies. Any level of development that is approved will be appropriate. Doesn’t see that this organisation should develop guidelines when there are no national guidelines.
12. Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding designation of the southern side of Carrigaline as a Rent Pressure Zone.
Response to Cllr Jeffers’ motion: ‘DOE Rent Pressure Zone.pdf’
Cllr Jeffers (SF): Thanks the department for writing back. Is not happy. The response doesn’t support the people on the south side of Carrigaline. Can’t understand how the Minister could let this happen within his own town. SF does not agree with the mechanism of rent pressure zones. We want to link them to the CPI. But we have to work with what we have and on the southern side of Carrigaline, a 4 bed is priced on Daft at €1500.month. On the northern side of Carrigaline, it is at €900.month. Is it down to this? Home ownership is at its lowest since 1971. The Housing Agency may, in conjunction with a local authority, make a proposal to the Minister for an area to be a rent pressure zone. Asks that we as a local authority would make that submission to the Minister. Asks that we would write to the Minister and ask that the criteria for rent pressure zones would be changed so that other areas in County Cork could be included.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Supports and seconds.
Cllr Lombard (FG): Thinks the price disparity is caused more because we have an electoral area dividing the town. The market will correct a lot of this; you can’t just compare prices on one side of a boundary with the other like that.
Mayor: Supports calls to raise this issue further. It does stem back to the town being divided but no town should have an area left out. We should write to the Housing Agency asking that we would together jointly make the request.
Cllr Jeffers: Agrees. Thinks it would have to come from the Chamber that we request the Housing Agency to follow up on this issue and include the southern side of Carrigaline.
Cllr K Murphy (FG): Suggests that we start the letter by supporting the scheme in general.
Cllr Jeffers (SF): My own political views would be not be supportive of the scheme.
13. Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 27th February, 2017, regarding a resolution of the Council in relation to Affordable Housing Purchase schemes
Response to Cllr Coleman’s motion: ‘DOE Affordable Housing.pdf’
Cllr Coleman (Ind): Very disappointing response that we will have no affordable housing scheme. We were told at SPC that an affordable housing scheme would be imminent.
Cllr Hayes (SF): Thinks the Minister has missed the point. There was a good scheme run up until 2011. People are in a gap at the moment; they can’t afford to buy privately and don’t fit the criteria for a Council house. There is confusion as to the message we’re getting; thinks we should write back.
Cllr Mary Hegarty (FG): We discussed this at Western Division. It is important to have a scheme for couples who are falling through the hoops. Thinks we should seek more clarity. Is disappointed with the response.
Cllr Barry (FG): Support previous speakers. Is a huge supporter of the affordable scheme. It maybe had too many hoops to jump through but definitely filled a gap in the market. We have to look at how we house people. The gap between social housing and people drawing mortgages from financial institutions is huge. We have to see if there is a way people on the minimum wage can purchase their own homes.
Cllr G Murphy (FG): The Minster has to either make affordable housing available or raise the threshold for social housing. There are people caught in the middle.
Cllr K Murphy (FG): We should seek for this to be clarified. Affordable housing and affordable sites – neither was really addressed. There is a welcome for an affordable scheme for people who are caught in the middle.
Cllr R McCarthy (SF): Is disappointed. In my own estate, the affordable houses didn’t sell but it was the wrong time at that point. There is now much need for an affordable housing scheme. My motion looks for an increase in the threshold for social tenants. It will have to be one or the other.
Mayor supports too. Has long been an advocate for this. Has raised this issue when the Minister was with us last year. We have agreement that we will write back and ask for him to examine this issue.
Cllr McCarthy (SF): The response to my motion (yet to be heard) asks that we would write to seek an increase in threshold for social housing. Should we not tie the two together? We shouldn’t really be asking for both.
Mayor thinks that because we haven’t time to hear the motion now, we’ll have to go ahead and write separately on both issues.
14. Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
Letter dated 29th March, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 9th January, 2017, regarding the plight of older separated men and women with marital and relationship problems in their quest for social housing.
Response to Cllr Collins’ motion: ‘DOE Social Housing Leasing.pdf’
Cllr N Collins (Ind): Asks Council to consider relaxing the housing letting regulations. They are crazy.
15. Department of Health
Letter dated 11th April, 2017, in response to Council’s motion of 13th February, 2017, regarding an opt-out system of consent for organ donation
Response to Cllr Sheppard’s motion: ‘Correspondence from Dept of Health.pdf’
Cllr Sheppard was not present so the response was noted.
Suspension of Standing Orders
Mayor proposes a 5 minute recess to meet with party leaders with the CE, the Senior Planner and the Director of Services, Planning. Asks the proposers of the two amendments relating to Little Island and Passage West to be present also.
The meeting reconvened.
Senior Planner: The two proposed amendments under discussion are those for Little Island and Passage West. In the case of both these proposed amendments, the planning authority determined (S20.3(f)) pursuant to environmental reporting that an Appropriate Assessment (AA) was required for both of these amendments. The legislation says that where AA is required that the amendments don’t pass screening and would therefore fall to go forward for full AA. The Act provides that the Manager will specify what period is necessary for the passage of the resolution. We’re saying that should take between 12 and 18 months. The AA relates to the Cork Harbour SPA. We will probably need to procure specialist services. We can confirm that the amendments could not be published without AA and therefore we would not be in a position to publish those amendments in May or adopt the two relevant Local Area Plans until the AA was finished. The planning authority is required to publish a proposed material alteration, publish a determination and say that it will take that long. So the amendments will be published but will not be brought forward for adoption until the AA is completed and this will not be completed for 12 – 18 months.
CE: Where an amendment proposed is deemed to require Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), I must publish the amendments as proposed but I must also publish the date by which the AA will be undertaken. So when we publish the draft Local Area Plans next week, I will be specifying that SEA will be required for both of these amendments and that the period to undertake these wil be 12 – 18 months. So the full LAP for the Cobh Municipal District and the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District will not be coming back for adoption until the AAs are complete.
Mayor: I proposed one of these amendments. Is there an option to revoke? How does it happen?
Meetings administrator: A special meeting would have to be held. Notification would have to issue today. Intention to amend the resolution of Council would have to be given. One third of Members would have to sign this. Two thirds of the Members present at the Friday meeting would have to vote in favour of carrying the revocation.
Cllr P O’Sullivan (FF): I proposed the other amendment. Am willing to withdraw it.
Cllr Forde (FG) spoke. Think she asked about the cost of doing the AA for both amendments.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Don’t understand how when the site in question in the Little Island amendment is 450 metres from the SPA and the development that is proposed is 10 serviced sites that AA is being required, yet in other areas of Little Island and in Ringaskiddy in particular, we have a list of sites zoned for industrial development right down to the water’s edge, noted in the Local Area Plan as interacting with the SPA but they do not need AA.
ML: These are existing zoned land – the reports relating to those are publicly available. They would have been screened at draft stage and those reports are available.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Will the provisional screenings of the amendments also be made available?
ML confirmed that we can also see the screening reports on the two proposed amendments.
ML: We don’t have a cost for doing the AAs for the amendments.
CE: We may have to go to tender. There are two AA’s which would have to be undertaken. So we don’t know how much that will cost.
ML: These are existing zoned land – the reports relating to those are publicly available. They would have been screened at draft stage and those reports are available. We can also see the screening reports on the two proposed amendments.
Cllr G Murphy (FG) asked for clarity.
Cllr Canty (FG) also asked for clarity.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): In two of the sites in Ringaskiddy listed as being industrially zoned, the draft Local Area Plan clearly states “this area may be used as a feeding ground by bird species for which Cork Harbour SPA is designated” and in another it says “this zone is adjacent to the Cork Harbour Special Protection Area”. Why is it not possible to include the two amendments in the same way, noting that there may be impacts on the SPA and assess those impacts subsequently through, as you would suggest yourself, development control?
ML: The amendments failed the screening. That’s what our ecologist says. That’s it.
31. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr O’Grady (SF) wished Cllr Danielle Twomey congratulations on the birth of her little girl.
(Think there was another vote of congratulations also.)
The rest of the meeting was adjourned.
I lodged a short submission to the proposed Cork City Flood Relief Scheme at the very last minute on Friday. We had been given a brief presentation on the scheme by the consultants working on behalf of the OPW, had been given an opportunity to ask questions and were assured that the proposed scheme was being misrepresented in an unfair way by those opposed to it.
Nonetheless, I have my own concerns. They are fuelled by the enormous professional respect I hold for many who are vocal in their opposition to the scheme as proposed. Including indeed, my own professor in UCC when I was an undergraduate.
So I put the basis of my (very untechnical!) concerns in the following note to the OPW which they graciously acknowledged Continue reading My submission to the OPW’s proposed Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme
Cork County Council’s new Painting and Signage Scheme is being run in Passage West and Douglas this year. Under the scheme, either tenants or owners of buildings can get a grant of up to 50% of the cost of painting the on-street facade.
If you have 10 or more adjacent buildings on one street, they will get priority and a grant of 60% will be provided.
Existing plastic, neon signs can be replaced with 50% of the cost of heritage type signs.
If the tenant/owner wants to do the work themselves, up to 50% of the cost of the materials will be provided.
Applications received by the Municipal District Office before 28th April will be given priority. So the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to get grant aid. The application form provides all the details and conditions of the scheme:
Painting scheme Ballincollig-Carrigaline
Yesterday was the official sod-turning on Astra Construction’s new Janeville development at Shannonpark. This is the first of Cork County Council’s Masterplan sites to be developed, so it was a big day for the Council. The Masterplan approach is intended to play a significant role in the Council’s response to the current need for housing.
However, there are significant infrastructural deficits in and around Carrigaline. These have been commented on in the context of yesterday’s sod-turning. I too commented on them in my submissions to both the Masterplan and to the Astra planning application. Continue reading Shannonpark’s new Janeville development
An Bord Pleanála has issued a request for further information in respect of its proposed incinerator development at Ringaskiddy as follows: FI request from ABP, 20-03-2017
I got advance notice that this further information request was going to issue yesterday and received a copy of it today. How inutterably tragic that last week’s events with the loss of the Coastguard’s helicopter and four very precious lives should inadvertently superimpose themselves alongside the potential impact of Indaver’s proposed incinerator at Ringaskiddy. We do not yet know what happened in Blacksod Bay last week. But what we do know is that we need to make every effort that we humanely can to protect the air services of the Navy and the Coastguard. The reason for their existence is to serve society and the state. Our responsibility must be to do everything we can to safeguard those who devote their lives to that service. Continue reading Further information request from An Bord Pleanála to Indaver in respect of its planning application for Ringaskiddy
1. Confirmation of Minutes
(a) To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 20th February 2017.
Minutes of the previous meeting: ‘Minutes 20.02.17 draft.pdf’
Confirmed and seconded.
MDO said he has had no update from the Planning Department on Continue reading Notes from the March meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District, 20-03-2017
Whilst I enjoy shopping in Lidl for myself and the family, I have concerns about the proposed location of a Lidl store in Barry’s Field, Douglas. I am not happy that those concerns have been addressed in the planning application and so I have outlined them in a submission to Cork County Council as follows:
Cork County Council has issued a request for further information in relation to the planning application for redevelopment of the Convent, Passage West (16/7260). Continue reading Further information request for the Convent planning application
1. Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 16th January 2017.
Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Correction – The Island as referred to in the minutes is in Ringaskiddy. So the casual trading areas to be included are Roberts Bridge, Passage West and the Island, Ringaskiddy.
The MDO also had a correction on Cllr Harris’s motion which will be incorporated. Continue reading Notes from the February meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District
First part of the meeting with Martin Walsh, Area Manager Bus Eireann:
MW comments on questions sent in advance by the Members:
Cork County Council has announced the opening of its annual invitation for applications to the Municipal District Community Fund Scheme. This scheme facilitates three types of grants:
1. Municipal District Capital Grant Scheme
2. Municipal District Community Contracts
3. Municipal District Amenity Fund Scheme.
If you are a community group or organisation, you can apply for one or more of these schemes.
The Capital Grant Scheme is for infrastructural projects costing more than €20,000 which will improve the range and/or quality of community-based facilities. It is very advisable that if planning permission is necessary, you have this in advance. Projects under this category responding to the needs of the youth, the aged or to sustaining community and voluntary effort will get priority. Applicants can expect to be required to input at least €10,000 of their own funds and Cork County Council’s contribution will be a maximum of 50% of the value of the project. Funding from other sources can be included.
The Community Contracts Scheme is for works/projects which enhance the area in which a community group or organisation is operating. Eligible works/projects must be discussed and agreed in advance with the Area Engineer. This scheme will finance ongoing costs of maintenance, litter-picking, etc. or may finance a once-off enhancement that couldn’t get funding elsewhere. Project values are expected to be €1,500 – €20,000.
The Amenity Fund Scheme is for part-funding projects with a value of less than €20,000. Again, this scheme is open for applications from community and voluntary organisations who can show how their proposed project will directly benefit the community and meet specific needs. This fund is ideal for Tidy Towns groups, festivals, amenity groups, etc. It will assist with such items as the cost of equipment and improvements. For a project value of €7,000 – €20,000, the County Council may contribute 75% of the value or €5,000, whichever is less. No more than €3,800 can be given by the County Council under this fund to a group who is not a legal entity.
Please make contact with me if you have any queries or need assistance. Guidelines and the application form are available here: