This was a planning application lodged by O’Flynn Construction. O’Flynn’s has been developing Drake’s Point since 2017. Much local concern has been expressed about the proximity of earthworks to some magnificent and very mature trees close to the development and on the edge of Crosshaven Woods. I have been trying to engage with the planning department of Cork County Council to improve protection of these trees for many months without success. O’Flynn’s proposed apartment development is also to be adjacent to mature trees. I prepared this submission in the hope of a) finally getting a response from the planning department and b) helping to prevent against a repeat of the disregard for mature trees that we have observed to date. The workload being particularly heavy in this recent period, I lodged my submission by email on the closing date (28th November). Having confirmed in advance with Cork County Council that my submission would be valid if received by them before midnight, I sent it at 22:41. However Cork County Council refused to accept it as valid, saying that their server indicated that my submission was received at 03:43.
Planning Policy Unit,
Cork County Council,
21st November, 2019.
To whom it may concern.
Please consider this submission as my strong objection to the proposed Variation No. 2 of the Cork County Development Plan 2014.
- National and regional policy as outlined in the National Planning Framework 2018, the South West Regional Planning Guidelines 2010, the South East Regional Planning Guidelines and the Southern Region Spatial & Economic Strategy 2018 (in draft) all contain one clear message with regard to the primacy of urban centres as regional and metropolitan drivers, compact and sustainable development, a focus on regeneration and, particularly in the context of the draft DSRSES, the importance of retail in enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of urban centres, large and small. The proposed Variation No. 2 does not support these national and regional policy aims.
- The Guidelines for Planning Authorities – Retail Planning (2012) also place a clear priority on developing all aspects of the vibrancy and vitality of urban centres. They encourage a sequential approach to retail planning. They have a general presumption against retail outlet centres and caution how they can negatively affect existing retail centres with the possible exception of a their establishing a beneficially synergistic relationship with an adjacent urban centre should they be developed immediately adjacent to that urban centre. In the case of the ROC that Variation No. 2 would facilitate, that means that, at best, Carrigtwohill or Midleton may benefit to the detriment of Cork City and other county towns. This is contrary to the aims of the national retail planning guidelines.
- The most recent Metropolitan retail policy for Cork is the Metropolitan Cork Joint Retail Strategy 2015. It has a stated policy of maintaining Cork City Centre as the primary location for comparison shopping and that if proposals in locations outside the city centre are being considered for comparison development, the potential implications for the regeneration of key opportunity sites in the city centre need to be considered. Although 45% of the custom for the proposed ROC that would be enabled by Variation No. 2 is estimated as originating from the city, those potential implications have not been considered as part of the Study on the Requirement for Retail Outlet Centres in the Cork Metropolitan Area (SRROCCMA).
- The Joint Retail Strategy 2015 states that when considering the future allocation of comparison floorspace, regard must be had to the extent of existing vacancy within the core areas of towns in the Metropolitan area. An examination of existing vacancy did not form any part of the SRROCCMA. The Study simply states that the necessary data was not available to undertake a health check of town centres. It quotes vacancy data for Cork City Centre from 2014 – 2017. The basic information on commercial vacancy available through Geodirectory is as recent as Q2 2019 for Cork City Centre and for a number of other Metropolitan towns.
- TCR 9-1 of the Cork County Development Plan 2014 has an objective of reducing the amount of vacant floorspace in core retail areas by 50% in the short term. This objective has not been close to achieved. According to Geodirectory, in Q2 2014 Cork’s commercial vacancy rate was 11.5%. In Q2 2019, again according to Geodirectory, Cork’s commercial vacancy rate was 11.6%. Overall vacancy in Munster is calculated at 12.9%. Vacancy in Co. Kerry is up from 9% in Q2 2014 to 10.6% in Q2 2019. Vacancy in Counties Limerick and Waterford is similarly up in the same period from 13.9% to 15.3% and from 13.3% to 14.1% respectively.
- The SRROCCMA indicates the threat that an ROC could pose to current and future retailing in urban centres throughout the region. Whilst the level of available expenditure within the catchment is calculated to help justify an ROC in Metropolitan Cork, the reality is that in the absence of an ROC, that available expenditure would be spent in retail outlets in urban centres. The SRROCCMA predicts that 45% of trips to an ROC in Carrigtwohill/Midleton would come from Cork City. This would clearly impose a negative impact on the primacy of Cork City Centre for comparison retailing. Similarly if (as identified in Paragraph 3.4.3 of the SRROCCMA) passengers on visiting cruise liners spend an average of 42% of their money on shopping, an ROC adjacent to the Cobh cruise terminal would be in direct competition with existing town centre retail outlets.
- Our town centres are our greatest assets. All of our county towns have mammoth potential to fill the retail and tourism roles that Variation No. 2 proposes for this ROC. Given the funding, support and opportunity, all of them could do so in a way that is in accordance with stated national and regional policy. Paragraph 3.4.4 of the SRROCCMA notes that while the Cork Strategic Tourism Task Force report identifies plenty of visitor attractions throughout the county, it also considers that there is a general lack of awareness of the county’s assets. In my opinion, Cork County Council’s finances and energies would be far better placed in enhancing those visitor attractions and building awareness than in supporting the development of a new retail attraction that has the potential to impact negatively on existing attractions and town centres.
- An ROC would be an entirely car-focused development. The SRROCCMA assumes it would serve a catchment delineated by a two-hour drive time. The modal split assumes the same 90% car share profiled in the Kildare Tourist Village Outlet. In this time of acute climate awareness, to encourage development that relies so heavily on the private car is entirely contrary to national policy. The introduction to Cork County Council’s own Budget 2020 states that “climate change is the defining issue of our time and it is a problem which requires commitment from all parties to an integrated approach to address the challenges posed”.
- The SRROCCMA contains no assessment of the carbon impact associated with an ROC development. Yet earlier this month, all local authorities in Ireland signed a charter committing to decarbonising their activities, pursuing sustainable development and putting in place a process for carbon-proofing decisions, programmes and projects. There is no indication of this commitment here.
- This proposed Variation has effectively received no meaningful Strategic Environmental Assessment. In the SEA Screening, it is stated more than once that “the proposed Variation will not give rise to any environmental effects”. The SRROCCMA predicts that the ROC enabled by the Variation would potentially generate some 35,000 customer trips each week. Again, in this time of climate sensitivity, this is a very clear and significant environmental effect. It is not acceptable to consider adopting the proposed Variation No. 2 without calculating the carbon impact associated with the ROC that the Variation is enabling.
- Only one of the bodies consulted in the course of the SRROCCMA is supportive of the concept of a ROC in Metropolitan Cork. All but that one have expressed the same concerns I have outlined above.
- My interpretation of paragraph 2.6 of the SRROCCMA is very clear: the Study’s relatively comprehensive policy review reaffirms that the city/town centre is a priority for new retail development. That policy is also in accordance with advice outlined in the Retail Policy Guidelines. However, if an ROC were to be introduced in Metropolitan Cork in contravention of national, regional and retail policy, because Cork County Council adopted Variation No. 1 in 2018, the ROC would be in accordance with local planning policy objectives. The reference to ROCs in Variation No. 1 was presented as three pages within a 52 page document, the first 39 of which deal specifically with housing-related matters. If those three pages pertaining to ROCs are contrary to national retail policy, we as a Council need to re-examine them in the context of the forthcoming review of the County Development Plan.
- Variation No. 1 commits Cork County Council to undertaking a “detailed evidence-based assessment” to confirm the need for an ROC. In its failure to include any consideration of existing commercial vacancy in either town centres or in Cork City Centre, the SSROCCMA fails to fulfil this commitment. Also, in failing to undertake any meaningful SEA of the environmental impacts including carbon footprint of a potential ROC, Cork County Council is in breach of the requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC as transposed and as amended.
- Finally, I cannot let this submission pass without commenting on the SRROCCMA’s reference to my own town of Passage West. Despite the ongoing efforts of its residents and businesses, Passage West exhibits extensive dereliction and commercial vacancy. The SRROCCMA explains this “decline” as being “due to the loss of traditional industries and the dockyards”. The dockyard and its associated industries were in decline since the 1870s and although the Royal Victoria Dockyard is still an operating entity under the ownership of the Doyle Shipping Group, shipbuilding ceased in 1931. That is nearly a century ago. We long for regeneration of our town centre, we work continually to improve its appearance and we are forever frustrated by Cork County Council’s ongoing reluctance to use both its powers of Compulsory Purchase and the Derelict Sites Act to help clean up our built heritage. We long for an architect-assisted streetscape enhancement that will encourage tourists to stop in our waterside town. We long for holistic management of Cobh and Passage West such that even some of the cruise passengers might make their way across the West Passage to engage with some the rich maritime heritage our town proudly boasts. We long for Cork County Council to grasp the potential of our town and work energetically with us to realise even some of what it could offer. That the SRROCCMA attributes our town’s lack of commercial activity to events which are now a century old is a very strong illustration of the need for the Council’s time and energy to be focused on building up its existing town centres, not on facilitating the development of an ROC.
Independent Member, Cork County Council
Irish Water Uisce Éireann has just finished a public consultation on what has the unattractive title of “Site Selection Methodology Report for Sludge Hub Centres”. Seriously not a title that is likely to attract public interest. Parts of it are equally dry to wade through to the extent that even I, with a background in this area, found the going tough.
That old maxim that matter cannot be destroyed but is converted from one form into another was never truer than for wastewater. The byproduct from sewage or any other form of wastewater treatment is sludge. Managing that sludge is the least spoken about part of wastewater treatment.
Sludge from municipal wastewater is organic and, as long as one is careful about what goes into the sewer, can be reasonably clean. In Ireland we haven’t developed many options for how to deal with it. Being nutrient-rich, sludge from urban centres is generally reused as a fertiliser in agriculture (with a whole dose of quality control measures attached). Sludge from chemical-based industries wouldn’t be an equally nice product and is usually either sent to landfill or burned.
Before being used in agriculture, sludge must be treated to pasteurisation standard so it is guaranteed to be disease-free. This involves expensive capital works and so treatment is most financially viable in big centres or “sludge hubs”.
Irish Water proposes to centralise treatment of all municipal sludge arising in Counties Cork and Kerry in one (or maybe two) sludge hubs. The three locations being evaluated to perform as these sludge hubs are 1) Carrigrennan (Little Island), 2) Tralee and (yes, you guessed it!) 3) Shanbally. The consultation wasn’t about this approach or about where the sludge hubs might be but rather about what factors each of these three locations might be evaluated against to see which was best. I call that public consultation Irish-style and am sick to the teeth of it. Where is the environmental logic in transporting sludge from places like Castletownbere to here??? This brings the concept of centralisation to a whole new level.
My submission to the consultation is here …
At today’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District, we were presented with the promised report on the recent upgrade to the Shannonpark roundabout. Traffic calming measures at the N28/R610 junction were also included in the report.
The nub of the issue here is that Cork County Council had got planning permission through a Part 8 procedure to increase the capacity of the roundabout by providing a slip lane from Carr’s Hill to the N28 eastbound, amongst other measures. But when the project came to be built on the ground, the slip lane was omitted and an additional left-turn-only lane was added on the Carr’s Hill approach to the roundabout instead.
The Council’s report explains that this change arose at detailed design stage to meet the requirements of TII’s latest design advice: to put the planned slip lane in, an additional lane would have been necessary to bring it eastbound along the N28. Merging on a national route (as we do at the Kinsale Road and Sarsfield Road roundabouts) is no longer allowed.
The cost of the work is less than was budgeted. About €660k was budgeted; the cost of the tendered job was just over €510k.
The report and appendices are here:
Submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA) on the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS)
As a resident of [………………..], I ask that the National Transport Authority would consider the following in the context of the current consultation on the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study:
- The frequency of the current 223 service needs to be increased to at least every half hour. Delivery of this increased frequency is needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Double decker buses are necessary on the current 223 service during peak times. At present, passengers regularly stand when commuting. This puts the safety and welfare of passengers at unacceptable risk. Full buses can pass those waiting at bus-stops without pulling in, often leaving passengers waiting a full hour for the next service. This is not acceptable. Improvements in this regard are needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Reliability of the current 223 service has been an ongoing issue. Buses need to turn up on time, not early or late. Genuine and accurate real time data is essential. Buses need to pull in at all stops. It is vital that buses complete their full route. At present if buses are behind schedule they can “forget” to service Church Hill, Passage West. If drivers have reached their permitted hours, the bus can simply stop although the route is not complete, thereby leaving passengers stranded. Improvements in this regard are needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Although it has been promised for years, there is no direct bus connecting Passage West to Carrigaline.Neither is it indicated in the CMATS proposals. Delivery of this bus route is past critical. Essential services for Passage West have been closed and moved to Carrigaline. Public health and social welfare services which impact the most vulnerable of our residents are now delivered for Passage West out of Carrigaline. It is a core part of the NTA’s remit that public transport is provided to essential services. A direct bus service between Passage West and Carrigaline is needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
- Throughout the 19thcentury and into the early part of the 20thcentury, public transport was effectively and efficiently delivered between Cork City and the harbour towns by a steamer service operating in Cork Harbour. The opportunity for public transport by water has not been considered in CMATS and needs to form an essential part of future public transport proposals for this part of Cork.
- Early delivery of the train station at Ballynoe is essential for improving public transport options in Passage West/Monkstown. It would enable residents of Passage West and Monkstown to efficiently and effectively use the rail line connecting Cobh and Cork City. I ask that delivery of the Ballynoe train station would be a priority of CMATS.
- The Cross River Ferry is an essential part of transport delivery in this part of Cork and particularly in Passage West, Monkstown and Cobh. I ask that it would be considered as an integral part of the CMATS considerations.
- The existing greenway from Passage West to Cork City is a valuable sustainable transport resource.It needs to be extended so that it provides safe connectivity for cyclists to Ringaskiddy and to Carrigaline. I ask that delivery of this Cork Harbour Greenway would be a priority of CMATS.
- Early delivery of bus priority between Rochestown and Cork City is essential if public transport is to provide a reliable alternative to the car. At present, frequent congestion means that the existing bus service does not provide that reliable alternative. I ask that early delivery of this bus priority would be a recognised aim of CMATS.
- The NTA takes decisions on all aspects of our public bus service that can deeply affect the everyday welfare of people living in this part of Cork. Even simple service improvements like bus shelters are a decision of the NTA. Yet the NTA is Dublin-based and Dublin-focused. Communication with the NTA is difficult and at a distance. It is a matter of urgency that the NTA would establish an office in Cork. This is needed now and cannot wait for delivery of CMATS.
Mine was the dubious landmark of having submitted the first motion of our new Council term. I proposed that Cork County Council would create the post of a Tree Protection Officer. In hindsight, I should have used the term “Tree Officer” instead because the concept would be that the role of such an individual would be not just to optimise the protection of existing valuable trees but also to provide professional advice on when trees become dangerous, pruning/maintenance, planting of appropriate species, disputes about trees on shared boundaries, etc. That’s the kind of remit similar roles in UK local authorities have. It was considered at full Council on Monday and received cross-party support. The Chief Executive has the ultimate say when it comes to staffing. He has suggested that the proposal would go to the Environment Strategic Policy Committee for the practicalities to be fleshed out. So that is what will happen next. The introduction to my motion (at the link below) included an outline of some of the extraordinary and sometimes unconsidered multifaceted benefits of trees. They are essentially an intergenerational piece of infrastructure. We have whole Directorates dedicated to other intergenerational pieces of infrastructure!!!
Introduction to motion: Motion
The application form and guidelines are available at these links:
If you would like me to email them to you in Word format, please let me know. Or if you would prefer to fill out a hard copy, they will be available in the Passage West Post Office in the next couple of days.
Applications for the scheme for towns going into the City (Ballincollig and Douglas) are to be received by 24th May. Applications for towns staying in the County have a closing date of 28th June. Areas to be included in the scheme are as follows:
Main Street (R608): West from the junction at Carrigdene to 100m west of Junction at Coolroe (Supervalu shopping centre), Bothar Saclay to Baker Street, including Chapel Gate, Time Square, Chapel Lane Row, Station Road from Main St to Baker Street & The Square.
Western side of R611:
Area South of Carrigaline Court Hotel to Church Hill/ Kilmoney Road junction.
Eastern side of R611:
Area South of Garda station to Church Hill/Kilmoney Road junction.
Douglas East, Douglas West, Church Road, Church Street
R610 Cork Street through Beach Road to Carrigmahon Hill junction.
N28 From junction at Warren’s Court to junction at Shamrock Place
“That Cork County Council asks the government, and members of the Joint Committee on Communications Climate Action and Environment (both TDs and Senators) to bring the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill before the Dáil for consideration such that in this time of climate emergency it may be considered for passing into legislation, with or without appropriate amendments, without delay as an acknowledgment of the fact that we face a climate emergency and cannot hope to limit global temperature rises without leaving 80% of already proven reserves in the ground.”
Introduction to motion:
In February 2018, a year ago, a Dáil majority voted to support the principle of the Climate Emergency Bill which calls for a ban on the issuing of licences for exploration of fossil fuels off Ireland’s coasts. The Dáil unanimously agreed to refer the Bill to the relevant Select Committee of TDs for detailed scrutiny. Senators were included in the deliberations. In December 2018, the committee was expected to send a report to the Dail and the Bill would then have gone to another committee for any amendments. But the Joint Committee was deadlocked and since then the Bill has been caught in a procedural dispute as to whether it needs a majority of the Joint Committee of TDs and Senators to progress it or just a majority of the Select Committee of TDs only.
We are in a climate emergency. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) has warned that the next ten years will be the most important in our history in making a fast and fair transition to a decarbonised economy.
If we exploit all the fossil fuel reserves already on the books of fossil fuel companies, it would result in a rise in global temperatures well in excess of the temperature limits agreed to in the Paris Agreement. The expert consensus is that 80% already-known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we are to limit global warming to 2 degC. It makes no sense to explore for more fossil fuels that cannot be burned.
Ireland’s current path will see us missing our 2020 climate and energy emission reduction targets. Rather than decrease, our greenhouse gas emissions actually increased by 7% since 2015. If we continue as we are, it will be virtually impossible to make our 2030 targets. Enacting this Bill would send a global signal that Ireland recognises that the world is in a state of climate emergency, that the next decade is critical and that we will pursue our energy security, jobs and other social and economic goals without the option of new fossil fuel reserve development.
If we do this, Ireland would be the fifth country globally to ban fossil fuel exploration. In France in 2017, for example, legislation was passed to end new licences for fossil fuel exploration and to cease all oil and gas extraction by 2040.
People all around Ireland and around the world recognise that we are in a climate emergency. Tens of thousands of people will take part in climate marches at the end of this week. And yet the Climate Emergency Bill is stuck in a procedural limbo such that it cannot be voted on by the legislators whom those same people voted into office.
I am asking for your support for:
- Amend the motion slightly to better reflect that state of climate emergency:
“That Cork County Council asks the government, and members of the Joint Committee on Communications Climate Action and Environment (both TDs and Senators) to bring the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill before the Dáil for consideration such that in this time of climate emergency it may be considered for passing into legislation, with or without appropriate amendments, without delay as an acknowledgment of the fact that we face a climate emergency and cannot hope to limit global temperature rises without leaving 80% of already proven reserves in the ground.”
- Circulate the motion to all local authorities such that their elected members can also reflect the desire of their electorate in supporting actions that commit Ireland to acting on the current climate emergency.
I agree with Cllr O’Sullivan’s suggestion that we would send a message of support to the students on Friday. We can make it clear to them that at least we as their local government representatives are aware of the current climate emergency.
I had but 24 hours to put together a submission to An Bord Pleanála in respect of Cork City Council’s proposed flood defence/public realm works at Morrison’s Island. I used all 24 of them and had I had 3 times that, could have used all of that too! However, time being what it was, my submission had to be a distillation of my gravest concerns, You can read them here: Submission to ABP. It was hard not to also mention that which perplexes me most: with the finest minds from a multiplicity of disciplines advising that the Morrison’s Island project is not what is best for Cork, why are Cork City Council and the OPW not listening? We can only hope that An Bord Pleanála will.
Remediation of Haulbowline Island – or at least its partial remediation – was in the news yesterday:
The government had promised a “whole of island” approach to the remediation but now seems unable to decide which department is responsible for taking the project forward.
I was concerned about this last June and followed it up in the Council Chamber through a motion which you will find at this link: Motion. The response from the Department to my motion is here: Response to motion. (The highlighting is my own.)
Friends of the Irish Environment who had brought the European Commission to see the East Tip contamination in 2011 were also concerned. Their information is that survey work on the island had not merely found the remaining 11 hectares to be physically connected with the 9 hectares of the East Tip but also that the area around the steelworks factory site was that of greatest contamination on the island. They alerted the European Commission to the government’s “breach of promise” by not following through on remediation of either the steelworks factory site or the South Tip: EU_complaint_Haulbowline_full_1.05.18. (Again, the highlightling is my own.)
Haulbowline is one of this country’s worst pollution legacies. That the government might address the clean-up of only the bit that is relevant to keeping Ireland out of trouble with the European Commission is disgusting, especially as lack of funding cannot be cited as an excuse. Whatever departments are passing the buck on this one need to sort it out fast and get on with it 😠
“That Cork County Council would carry out an assessment of sheltered housing for the elderly, both public and private, currently available in each town in the county and that, arising from this assessment, Cork County Council would adopt the following policies:
- It will be a specific objective of the County Development Plan to provide for sheltered housing for the elderly in every town in the county.
- The range of sheltered housing to be provided will allow for both independent and supported living.
- The sheltered housing will be provided close to the town centre and/or services and amenities.
- The number of sheltered housing units to be provided will be an appropriate proportion of the population of each town.
- The Local Area Plan for each Municipal District will identify areas in each town appropriate for the provision of sheltered housing for the elderly.”
The age profile of the Irish population is increasing. The last Census (2016) saw an increase of over 19% in people aged over 65. There was also a 15.6% increase in the number of people aged over 85. This is a huge success story in terms of lifestyle and health but our national and local policies must recognise the implications of this demographic shift and start planning for it now so that we can as a nation embrace rather than fear growing older.
Research carried out by the charity, Alone found that 49% of people aged 60 live alone, more than half in private homes. Of those, almost 59% live in a house with five rooms or more.
At the same time there are almost 23,000 people in nursing homes. That is 3.7% of the over 65 population and that percentage continues to increase. In research undertaken in 2017, some of those living in nursing home facilities reported that they moved there because they were alone and could not or did not want to manage their own home any longer. Despite this, 80% of older adults are negative towards moving into a nursing home (Age Friendly Ireland, 2016). It is estimated that the cost to the Fair Deal scheme will increase by an additional €729 million annually by 2031 as a result of demographic changes (Alone).
Older people want to age in place but without a choice of appropriate housing, many cannot. That housing needs to be offered across a spectrum, open to all older people, regardless of whether they qualify for social housing or whether they can avail of private options. It needs to include both purpose-built homes, dispersed in the community and dedicated sheltered housing in shared and supported schemes.
Community-based supports are critical for all of us but even more important for older people who need to live in close proximity to their family, their social networks, to public transport and other essential public services and to recreation opportunities. Research indicates that 15% of those aged 65 or over would move to a different home within their community if they had the opportunity to do so. In the UK, this is called right-sizing.
Nobody is better placed to provide for appropriate opportunities for right-sizing to either independent or sheltered living than local authorities. It takes foresight and planning to ensure that housing for older people is located close to their current homes so that they are not displaced from their communities and social networks. Our opportunities to do this are at policy level in the County Development Plan and at a practical level in our Municipal Area Plans.
The Joint Housing Strategy requires our Development Plans at either County or Municipal level to include specific policies to secure a housing mix which considers the needs of special groups such as the elderly. I am glad to hear that this is going to be developed further in the forthcoming review of the County Development Plan. I would like to see us developing right-sizing policies for our social housing stock. But what I am urgently seeking support for through this motion is for us as a local authority to ensure that each town has ample provision of a range of houses appropriate for aging. To actively identify in our Local Area Plans town centre or close to town centre sites that are best placed to develop sheltered housing for the elderly. I want this process to start now, not in 2024 when the next Local Area Plans are due. I thank Maurice for his report and for his Department’s efforts. It is very welcome that houses for older people are being provided through the Capital Assistance Scheme. But as an example, there are 817 people over 65 in Bandon. If, as research shows, 15% of these were willing to right-size, that is a requirement for 122 age-appropriate units. If even half of that requirement were available in the community, the 9 house-scheme currently under construction through the Capital Assistance Scheme is a long way off what is necessary. And in many cases it does not have to be the local authority or an approved housing body who provides the shortfall but it is necessary that the local authority would provide for them by ensuring appropriate lands in or adjacent to the town centre are identified and available. If we don’t do this now, we won’t be able to do it. Those valuable sites will be gone.
To whom it may concern
This submission pertains to the total road closure proposal advertised on 19thDecember for the R610 Glenbrook – Victoria Terrace/Bath Terrace/Sommerville Terrace from 12thJanuary – 4thMarch 2019.
I write on my own behalf and on the behalf of many others who have expressed their concerns to me with regard to this proposed closure which will sever the connection between the residents of Monkstown and their nearest services in Passage West. It is also essential to point out in the strongest way possible that the service providers of Passage West depend upon the custom of the residents of Glenbrook and Monkstown and that of stopping passing traffic for survival of their businesses. The proposed road closure would impact severely on the convenience of the people of Glenbrook and Monkstown and on the businesses of Passage West town centre.
For most of us the proposed total road closure is a temporary phase during which inconvenience must be minimised and safety must be maximised. However for the businesses in Passage West town centre and in Monkstown, this proposed total closure follows over a year of sequential partial road closures and approximately three months of total road closures. These ongoing restrictions in trade are a tremendous threat to their viability. Several reported a 40% drop in turnover during a previous total road closure. Others either cut staff hours or laid off staff entirely. For some of these businesses, implementation of the Lower Harbour drainage scheme may lead to permanent closure. This is a heavy price for Passage West/Monkstown to pay for the beneficial gain of a wider audience. Once again, I echo the calls of local businesses in asking that the County Council assists their survival with such practical measures as a rates reduction in the same way as the County Council is assisting Irish Water by their ongoing granting of road closure licences.
Specifically with regard to the current road closure application, I ask that Cork County Council would take the following considerations into account and condition the road closure licence accordingly.
- As in previous total closures of the R610, the applicant proposes to provide a shuttle bus through Passage West to connect with the regular diverted Bus Eireann service.The Bus Eireann service calls to Monkstown only once per hour during most of the daytime period when the R610 is to be totally closed. Residents of Monkstown who would normally come to Passage West during the day for services would, rather than tackling the circuitous and higher risk back roads, most likely take their custom elsewhere. Over the period of a proposed almost two-month closure, this would have a massively negative impact on businesses in Passage West. To relieve the severity of this loss of custom, I ask that a regular shuttle bus connecting Monkstown, Glenbrook and Passage West would be scheduled for once every 15 minutes. This service would supplement the hourly Bus Eireann service, thereby providing a realistic alternative to residents who would otherwise drive to Carrigaline or Douglas.
- One quarter of the children attending Scoil Barra Naofa (Monkstown primary school) live in Passage West or Glenbrook.There are many others who, although living in Monkstown, attend afterschool care either in private homes or in crèches in Passage West. Parents driving to and from Monkstown school have already been significantly inconvenienced by road closures imposed in Passage West. They have received no assistance from Irish Water or from Ward & Burke in overcoming this inconvenience. The road closure now proposed for Glenbrook would present their greatest inconvenience to date. They would endure the proposed partial closure of the R610 during the morning rush hour. When collecting at either 1.30pm or 2.30pm, the R610 through Glenbrook would be totally closed. They would have no choice other than to use the back roads to get to Passage West. Their most likely route from Scoil Barra Naofa would be up the Glen in Monkstown, along the back road to Rochestown Monastery and turning right at the monastery to re-enter Passage West via Church Hill. The back road to the monastery is a narrow, winding road which necessitates careful, slow driving. At several points along its length, two cars are unable to pass. The inadequacy of this road to cope with diverted traffic has been well rehearsed in applications for previous total closures of the R610. During the last total closure, traffic management relieved the danger of travelling the back road to the monastery. Traffic management does not appear to be part of the current proposed total closure. Consequently the risk and inconvenience to Scoil Barra Naofa parents would again be unrecognised. Foggy and icy weather is most frequently experienced during the January – March period and these are precisely the months during which the proposed total closure would force cars onto the elevated back roads. At least some of this risk could be alleviated by the shuttle bus requested in 1. Above. It could be scheduled to serve Scoil Barra Naofa, particularly at school closing time. Availability of a shuttle bus would would alleviate the risk of pushing cars onto the back roads and it would provide a realistic alternative to parents and minders who would have to endure this significant inconvenience for a period of almost two months.
- It is highly likely that Bailey’s Lane would be used as a rat-run to circumvent that area of the R610 which would be totally closed.No traffic management has been proposed for Bailey’s Lane. This is not acceptable. Bailey’s Lane is narrow. It cannot take two-way traffic. Residences along Bailey’s Lane have no footpath interface between their front gates and passing traffic. Moreover, the structural condition of the road is questionable. It is imperative that Bailey’s Lane is either closed entirely to all but residents or that it is used as an official diversion in the same way as Fair Hill was used in previous total closures of the R610. It is not acceptable that the current laissez-faire, cross-our-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best approach would be adopted. This approach would serve no-one’s interests other than those of the contractor.
- Should Bailey’s Lane be used as an official diversion similar to Fair Hill in the previous total closure of the R610, it would be fair recompense to the residents that traffic calming would be provided, perhaps in the form of ramps at the Passage West end.Traffic on Bailey’s Lane frequently travels far quicker than is safe or acceptable. To require the contractor to install traffic calming would be a long-term benefit to the residents and would compensate them for the risk and inconvenience of accommodating R610 traffic for what would be almost a two-month period.
- During the working week, it is proposed that the southbound lane of the R610 would be open during rush hour and during the night-time period.However the southbound lane of the R610 is often blocked by cars queuing for the Cross River Ferry. Moreover during the evening rush hour, cars coming from Ringaskiddy/Monkstown are forced to do almost a U-turn to join the ferry queue. This further slows the movement of the queue that stretches back to Glenbrook. If the only lane of the R610 to be opened is the southbound lane and that southbound lane were to be blocked by the ferry queue, there would be total impasse. There simply is not adequate road width to do what is proposed. Cars coming from the south would be waiting at traffic lights to pass through the single open lane; cars waiting for the ferry would be queuing in the southbound lane; cars coming from Passage West town centre would be travelling through the single open lane. It would be necessary that the contractor would actively manage traffic passing through the partial closure during rush-hour periods. Traffic build-ups may also be alleviated if Doyle’s Shipping were to be required to ensure two vessels were servicing the crossing at all peak times. It may also help if the County Council were to liaise with Doyle’s Shipping on their traffic management methodology which allows cars from Ringaskiddy no option other than to do that U-turn into the ferry queue. I am mindful that whilst the applicant for this road closure licence is not Doyle’s Shipping, appropriate traffic management is a key consideration in Cork County Council’s permitting of the Cross River Ferry operation.
- Direct communication with residents living alongside the proposed works is critical and was not adequate during previous total road closures. It is essential that one-to-one contact would be made with alladjacent homes. A blanket leaflet drop is notsufficient. It is equally critical that residents would be forewarned of days when works are expected to be additionally noisy, when dusty activities are due to take place, or when tides might favour working longer hours than proposed. Again, such consultation notably did nottake place during previous closures despite commitments from the contractor. It is also essential that residents would receive adequate notice of any water outages.
- Emergency services mustbe effectivelynotified in advance of any future road closures. Our experience heretofore has been that although the central control office of the National Ambulance Service was informed of the road closure, notification did not filter down to the drivers. In the case of this proposed closure, we have been advised by the contractor that direct contact was made before Christmas with the local emergency service office and that they will be provided with weekly updates. However, although similar reassurances have been provided before, during previous total closures we were all beyond lucky that no tragedy resulted from the significant delays experienced when misinformed ambulances did not know how to reach emergency callouts. This proposed Glenbrook closure is for an almost two month period. There can be no room for misinformation or mixed messages.
- Experience from previoustotal road closuresin Passage West is that signage is critical. During times of total closure, delivery trucks may attempt to reach Passage West town centre by using either the Lackaroe Road or the back road to the Monastery.Clear signage indicating that thisroad is not suitable for heavy vehicles will be necessary at the bottom of Carrigmahon Hill, at the Rochestown Inn junction, at Monastery Cross and on Church Hill. It is also important that signage on the N28, N40 and at Rochestown would clearly indicate that through traffic into the town centre is possible and that Passage West town centre is indeed open for business.
- I have run out of words to describethe condition of the road surface between Raffeen and Glenbrook.Its condition is appalling and deteriorating. Although supposedly temporary, some stretches are in place for almost two years. I have received angry reports from residentswho have had to bear the costs of abnormal repairs to their cars, most particularly to their suspension systems. I have received frustrated communications from cyclists who no longer use the R610 because it has simply become too dangerous for them. This is all as a consequence of the appalling quality of these temporary road surfaces. The temporary surface recently laid in Glenbrook is particularly dreadful. I raised the quality of the Glenbrook surface as an unacceptable issue in my submission to the previous total closure of the R610. I was contacted by a representative of the contractor who addressed each of the points of my submission in turn. The contractor’s representative agreed with my criticism of the temporary surface in Glenbrook, acknowledged that this had been raised as an issue by others also and reassured me that it would be improved. I cannot see any improvement nor that the contractor followed through on this commitment.
- The quality of clean-up after both total and partial closures has, to date, been abysmal.The centre of Monkstown village, particularly around the grassy island and Sandquay area remains like a construction site. The soil on the island is rough and full of stones. The area is littered. The road is dirty. The bus stop remains covered with a black plastic sack. The road sign lies in the mud. It is not acceptable. Residents tolerate the construction phase of the project, knowing that it is essential to the installation of the Lower Harbour scheme. It is absolutely unacceptable that any contractual footprint would remain post-construction. It is essential when the works are underway in Glenbrook that the road would be regularly swept, that litter would be cleaned up and that when the works are complete, that the area would be returned to the status quo within a short period of days.
I should appreciate contact from either Cork County Council or the Lower Harbour drainage project team to address my concerns as outlined above. I also expect that the procedures for road closure applications as outlined below and on the County Council’s website would be followed:
- “If any observations/objections are received, the applicant will be contacted in this regard and will be required to engage directlywith the Third Party to seek resolution to issues raised.
- Once issues have been resolved, the Roads Authority needs written confirmation from the organiser of how objections/observations were addressed. The Roads Authority may also seek confirmation from the Objector/s whether their needs have been satisfactorily addressed ….”
To facilitate direct contact with myself with regard to these proposed closures of the R610 in Passage West, I confirm that I consent to the transfer of this information and my details to the applicant.
Independent Member, Cork County Council
Mobile: 085 – 7333852
The following are the projects which have been submitted by Cork County Council for funding under two new government grants, the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund and the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund. The Urban fund is targeted specifically at cities and larger towns in Metropolitan areas. The Rural fund is targeted at towns outside of these areas and with populations of less than 10,000.
Great to see a total of €282,115 being allocated to 59 groups in South Cork for projects they had asked to be funded under the Community Enhancement Programme. This is a fund distributed by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by Cork County Council. The groups and projects awarded funding throughout the county are listed in full here:
CEP South LCDC Cork County Group amount description Final
Funding was also granted under a specific Men’s Shed Fund to 12 Men’s Sheds in South Cork. The groups, their proposed projects and the funding amounts can all be seen here:
Cork County Council has granted Irish Water/Ward & Burke a licence for the total closure of the R610 (Cork Street) to lay a 90 metre stretch of sewer around the Passage West library. The area to be dug is the yellow one in the picture below. It has been granted for 4 weeks.
When this work is complete, the sewer-laying will move into the greenway (green area above) for three weeks. The greenway will not be accessible during this time. Three more road closure applications will be submitted to complete the works on the Cork Road in Passage West. The light blue, pink and grey ones will all be total road closures whilst the dark blue one will be a partial road closure, i.e. single lane flow permitted with lights.
The road closure licence is based on the contractor’s commitment to working 7 days a week and 12 hour days and has the following conditions attached:
1. A public meeting is to be held with all interested stakeholders to give a detailed briefing on the overall plan to complete works in Passage/Glenbrook. No further closures on the R610 will be granted until after this meeting has been held and a full programme of works has been submitted.
2. No road closures will be granted on the R610 after 31st October 2018 to allow Passage West to recover trade for the Christmas season.
3. Any remaining road closures after this date required on the Cork Road or Glenbrook to be planned to coincide with school holidays/mid term breaks.
4. Working Hours to be agreed with Area Office prior to road closure.
5. Full width road reinstatement is required for the full extent of this and all future road closure applications required for the completion of the works.
6. A road opening licence must be applied for to cover the planned works.
7. Traffic lights are to be used on the L2475 (Back road) outside of contractors working hours. During working hours traffic on the road is to be controlled using a Stop go system.
8. The applicant will need to survey the L2475 (Back road) to assess any areas of overhanging branches/hedges that may impact on traffic and any areas of hedge cutting/verge cutting as required for road safety / sight distance at junctions and these are to to be cut back as necessary subject to compliance with Wild Life Act and land owners agreement. This needs to be done before the road closure is put in place. This is to be monitored at regular intervals during the road closure.
9. The applicant is to put in place a system to regularly monitor the L2475 surface condition during the closure. If there are potholes on the route these are to be repaired immediately during the closure period.
10. The applicant will need to put in place a daily check system to ensure the road condition and signage in place on both the official diversion route and local routes are in order.
11. No HGV’s are to use the L2475 (Back road). Signage to be put in place signifying route for HGV’s.
12. Full engagement with Businesses in Passage West to assist with difficulties in trading associated with this Closure. This is to include advertisements in Local press/Social media as well as agreed signage.
13. Provide details of the revised bus arrangements for the Passage West service including revised routes and shuttle bus arrangements. Confirmation of engagement with Bus Eireann should be provided at least one week before closure to begin.
Irish Water/Ervia has issued an information brochure on arrangements for access during this coming four week period. It can be accessed here: FAQ on Cork Street Road Closure_Update 2
They have also organised a public information session tonight, 10th August, 6.30-8.30pm at the PACE Centre, Passage West. It is expected to address both further details of arrangements during the upcoming closure and an overview of the future total closures that may be expected both on Cork Street and in Glenbrook.
The Cork Education and Training Board (CETB) has a brand new centre at Herons Wood, Carrigline which has excellent facilities and is offering a range of courses for the 2018/19 academic year. All are detailed on the course brochure which you will find at the following link:
RE: Objection to the application made to Cork County Council for the temporary closing of the R610, Passage West for construction of a foul sewer pipe from 06.00 h Monday 13thAugust 2018 to 06.00 h Friday 7thSeptember 2018 (24 hour closure), Toureen House – Passage West library
The following petition was sent from the people of Passage West and Monkstown to Cork County Council in objection to the application for the temporary closing of the R610, Passage West for construction of a foul sewer pipe from 06.00 h Monday 13thAugust 2018 to 06.00 h Friday 7thSeptember 2018 (24 hour closure), Toureen House – Passage West library.
Because of the short time period allowed for submissions, this petition was available for signing in the town centres of Passage West and Monkstown for only 24 hours. Nonetheless, even in that short time, it allowed 688 people the opportunity to express their objection to the proposed total road closure. The reason for that objection was set out in the cover page:
Although we are a harbourside town and we welcome the cleaning up of Cork Harbour, this is the second time within a month that total closure of the R610 has been proposed to facilitate the installation of sewers. The first time, the proposed closure was from Glenbrook – Lucia Place for a period of two months. We strongly opposed it and it was withdrawn. A rethink was promised. This proposed closure is the first part of what would be an even longer closure of the Cork Road. We equally vehemently oppose this proposed road closure.
- The combination of total road closures proposed for the Cork Road would seriously impinge on the everyday lives of residents and would have a catastrophic impact on the viability of businesses, particularly in Passage West town centre.
- The combination of total road closures proposed for the Cork Road is likely to be even longer than that previously proposed for Glenbrook – Lucia Place.
- No information has been presented on the expected Glenbrook – Lucia Place closure. It is impossible for businesses and residents to evaluate the full impact of these proposed total road closures unless they are presented holistically. The likely reality is that the two total road closures could span a collective 4 – 6 months.
- The impact of any prolonged total road closure on business is far longer than the period of the closure itself. What is proposed in these road closures would close several businesses in Passage West town centre entirely and would catastrophically impact on all others.
- There is much concern that the advertised 18 km alternative route for emergency vehicles could place lives and property at risk.
- The 223 is the only public bus route through Passage West/Monkstown. The alternative proposed shuttle bus arrangements are unsatisfactory and would prohibit the bus from use as a reliable form of transport.
- The alternative route identified involves travelling the temporary road surface laid by Ward & Burke from Monkstown through Raffeen to the N28. Its poor quality has a costly and detrimental effect on vehicles.
- Neither the surface nor the width of our local roads could accommodate the diverted local traffic which would inevitably use them to avoid the 18 km advertised alternative route.
- Many working in the Ringaskiddy Strategic Employment Area commute through Passage West/Monkstown so as to avoid congestion on Carr’s Hill.The impact on the wider road network of forcing all commuting traffic through the Shannonpark roundabout has not been considered.
- A total road closure such as is being suggested for the R610 through Passage West would effectively shut down any town and is an entirely unprecedented proposal.
For over a year we have lived with significant inconvenience to accommodate the laying of sewers. We have tolerated the inconvenience because we understand the benefits of the Lower Harbour drainage scheme. Our town cannot withstand the burden of what is now proposed. We need more time so that businesses can employ expert engineering and legal advice. We need Ward and Burke/Ervia to use every resource to achieve real reductions in the length of time for which these total closures are proposed. Failing those deliverables, we call for Ervia/Irish Water to return to the planning process to seek approval for an alternative route by which the sewer can be brought through Passage West – a route that will keep the R610 open.
County Council‘s Municipal Districts Creative Communities Scheme 2018 is open for applications.
The Creative Communities Scheme will provide €150,000 funding to support the development of new community based arts projects, encouraging community groups to work with arts organisations and individual artists to develop arts and cultural projects at local level. The scheme aims to promote access to the arts and to increase public participation and involvement in creative activity.
The guidance notes for applying to the grant scheme are here:
Creative Communities 2018 funding call announced
The application form for the scheme is here:
Application Form CORK COUNTY MUNICIPAL DISTRICTS Creative Communities Scheme 2018
It doesn’t matter how many times I have counted these, I keep getting a different number!
Well done everyone!
This is a link to my own objection:
Great that the following Youth Club grants have been approved by the ETB Youth Committee this week …
In accordance with Section 25 of the Taxi Regulation Act, as amended, Cork County Council proposes to make Bye Laws for the creation and regulation of appointed stands in Douglas County Cork.
A copy of the draft Bye Laws is available for inspection at Floor 5, County Hall; Council Offices in Carrigaline and Douglas Library during normal working hours until 20th July 2018. A copy of the draft Bye-Laws can be obtained from the Council Office on Floor 5 County Hall. The draft bye-laws are also available at this link:
Representations in relation to the draft Bye Laws may be made in writing to the Municipal District Officer, Floor 5, County Hall, Cork, before 27th July 2018.
Ward and Burke are proposing two complete road closures in #PassageWest. The first is to lay the sewer in the road from Glenbrook Wharf – Lucia Place during July/August and the second is to lay it from the Town Hall – Oysterhaven Boats (ish) during September/October. They say they need these closures to lay the sewer. In addition to this, Ward and Burke already have permission to close the Back Road for July and other partial closures between Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown.
The presentation given by Ward & Burke to councillors on these proposed complete road closures is here:
The first road closure was advertised today. Because it will have a significant effect on businesses, residents and travel, there is much concern about it. The only opportunity to have these concerns heard and worked around is to make a submission to the road closure application. A petition outlining those concerns has been distributed to the businesses today and will be collected on Tuesday for forwarding to Cork County Council. The text of that petition is here:
You can make your own submission to Cork County Council if you wish by emailing email@example.com or by writing to Director of Services, Roads & Transportation, Cork County Council, The Courthouse, Skibbereen, Co. Cork. The closing date for receipt of submissions is Wednesday, 20th June. There is no fee for making the submission.
This morning (31st May 2018), An Bord Pleanála granted Indaver Ireland planning permission to build an incinerator in Ringaskiddy to burn 240,000 tonnes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste each year. This is the third planning application from Indaver for an incinerator on this site. Each time, the people of Cork Harbour have fought to keep Indaver out of Cork Harbour. Each time, against all odds, they have won. This below is the link to today’s grant of planning from the Board. In doing so, they followed a trend of overturning the recommendation of their Senior Planning Inspector. Every Planning Inspector who has scrutinised this or any of the previous planning applications has said that this is the wrong site for an incinerator.
We will fight on.
I was so honoured and grateful to be asked to Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown today to raise their fifth Green Flag. They were awarded this flag for more than a year of work on learning about, talking about and encouraging biodiversity. It follows on their previous Green Flag achievements for Waste, Energy, Travel/Transport and Water. The following is (more or less!) the little speech I gave to the wonderfully attentive children:
Rowan View Developments applied for planning permission to build a 3 storey apartment development on the green beside Doodlebugs in Pembroke Wood. The County Council granted permission for the development. At the request of the Residents Association, I appealed the development to An Bord Pleanála on 15th May. The text of my appeal is at the link below:
The Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District is offering its Streetscape Painting & Signage Scheme this year again. The scheme is focused at Passage West, Douglas and Ringaskiddy this year, although applications from Carrigaline and Ballincollig will also be considered. The scheme offers all of last year’s benefits with a few more added. You will find the grant application form and guidelines at the following link. Apply before 1st June to get priority.
Creative Ireland is a 5-year government policy which is about mainstreaming creativity into everyday life so that we can all benefit, individually, as a community and nationally.
The two grant schemes announced by Cork County Council are for creative projects that meet the aims of Creative Ireland. The first scheme is for creative projects generally whilst the second is for pop-up shops in vacant buildings.
Guidelines and application form are on the Cork County Council website at www.corkcoco.ie/arts-heritage/creative-ireland and at the following links:
Young students of Scoil Padraig Naofa, Rochestown, Orla, Sorcha, Clodagh and Sarah, were welcomed by Cllr Desmond.
We took Cllr Forde’s motion now:
“That the Engineer gives a written report on
- The status of improvement design for Coach Hill and outline possible funding streams for the project which is urgently needed on safety issues.
- In the interim cut back the shrubbery to widen the roadway.
Improve lighting for pedestrians.”
Cllr Forde: Is exceptionally proud that these young girls took the time to get a petition together to encourage the Council to take action. The design office did a preliminary design for Coach Hill. It needs land take and a set back of a private boundary. I ask councillors to consider that we move to CPO in terms of the long term strategy. In the short term, the girls are looking for the hedging be cut back to widen the pinch point and put in extra lighting. It has been suggested that there are too many traffic lights on Clarke’s Hill; perhaps some of the money could be siphoned off to put lights on Coach Hill. WE will also write to bus Eireann to ask for a bus shelter. The principal is also very proud of them.
The girls hand over a petition with over 220 signatures.
Cllr D’Alton: When I was elected, my very first job was to look at widening the pinch point on Coach Hill so a footpath could go in – Safer Routes to Schools initiative. Area Office was helpful, initiated land search on the fallow land adjacent, found it was CCC and asked the design office to do a preliminary design. Was started and progressed but always in a half-hearted way because there has never been any funding. There was for Clarke’s Hill but not for Coach Hill. We never have a roads meeting pass in here without one of us mentioning Coach Hill. Especially concerned because M28 planning application showed that should the motorway go ahead, the volume of traffic on Coach Hill will increase significantly. Also concerned because when Clarke’s Hill is being upgraded, there is a risk that traffic will be diverted down Coach Hill. We will continue to support and to look for funding.
Cllr McGrath: Coach Hill has many residential estates and two schools in the area yet there is no footpath and safe walking area. We’ve all tried to address it. It was brought up even again this week at the Southern Committee meeting. The issue of the land is one thing but if the funding was found there’d be a way around that; the funding hasn’t been secured though. The area is due to be transferred into the city in 12 months or so and we must be mindful that we don’t take our foot off the pedal. Well done again for raising the issue. Has a motion in for this meeting in relation to increasing pedestrian safety around the school.
Cllr Jeffers: We are always aware that Coach Hill is in need of serious improvement. We can’t take our foot off the pedal in terms of the transfer into the city. Commended for playing your part in the democratic process. Fantastic to do so at such a young age. Played a significant part in democracy in trying to improve your own community. Cllr Canty was saying that he is now 27 years a councillor so there may be a vacancy arising at some stage in the future.
Cllr Harris: Congratulates the girl and school and parents and Cllr Forde for facilitating it. When you hear personal experiences about walking up the hill and going to school, it focuses the minds. When you meet people it is much stronger than paper and maps. You’ve done a great service coming in here today.
Cllr Murphy: Congratulations. Supports Cllr Forde’s motion. We had all dealt with Coach Hill over a period and we have seen how people power worked in Passage West lately.
Cllr Canty: Coach Hill has been on the map for a long time over the years. Health and safety is a No. 1 issue. Fair play to the girls for raising this. The girls have come in to highlight the dangers. Fair play to Cllr Forde and to the girls for starting he petition. Don’t lie on it. Keep knocking on the door. Lots of things get lost here in paper. Keep it up and hopefully in time the money will come.
Cllr Desmond: As Chairperson, I had a very interesting and engaging conversation outside. Effort and energy have gone into this. We have adults who don’t participate in what is going on in their local area and this is huge credit to get 222 signatures. That road has not changed from my memory of childhood. There have been some great improvements in Rochestown – this is the last piece of the puzzle. The Council needs to be credited for the work that has gone up there. We now have your school. It has 500 pupils and is ever-increasing. Very good to see 5thclass students who are about to finish in school caring about the future of those coming up behind them. It is impossible to cycle on that hill and walking isn’t much better. We will keep fighting your corner.
1. To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 20thMarch 2018.
Confirmed – Cllrs Canty and D’Alton
2. Consideration of recommendations and reports
(i) Report to Members on YourCouncil.ie.
We will defer this to May.
(ii) Housing Report for Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District April 2018.
(i) Correspondence TII re N28 – Douglas Exit to R609, Carrigaline Road.
(ii) Correspondence Depatment Education and Skills re proposed Educate Together School Rochestown/Douglas.
(iii) Correspondence from Planning Department re the Bond for the development at Maryborough.
Cllr Forde is not in the Chamber.
(iv) Correspondence from Environment Department re litterbins
(v) Proposals for extra 30 kph zones within the Municipal District.
Area Engineer: We’ve been given an opportunity to consider extending the 30 kph zones throughout the Municipal District and amend the bye-laws accordingly. Based on representations after the last time we did it and the layout and traffic in the different estates, is proposing these here. This is limited. The last time we got 5 estates, there are 6 here. If there are other estates you feel merit it more, we’ll have to drop some of these.
Cllr McGrath: Welcomes these. Knows that €15k was given to the County as a whole for this. That’s a very small allocation. Would like to see this introduced in all estates. We can do it only on a phased basis. Traffic calming and the need to reduce speed comes to us all the time. Mount Oval jumps out on the list because it hasn’t been taken in charge. Mentions Pinecroft as possibly being included.
AE: Mount Oval – the through road is taken in charge and there are pockets within the overall development that are taken in charge and more coming up for consideration. It is true to say that there is merit in saying that we should defer it if you have other estates to put forward.
The amount of traffic and the number of people living there means that everything to keep speed down should be done.
Need to investigate the legalities.
Cllr McGrath suggests that we check whether it is amongst the 100 estates that will be taken in charge this year.
AE: Maybe we leave this as is until the draft bye-laws are drawn up at the end of the year and then more will be clear.
Cllr Jeffers: This is very welcome. You can see the merits in the ones chosen – large estates with straight roads, ones with schools. Supports Pinecroft and mentions Ardfield for inclusion.
Cllr Canty: Was talking to Don in relation to two or three estates for inclusion in the Ballincollig area.
Cllr D’Alton asked if surveys had been done to show if the special speed limit is working. The choice of estates is good. We’d all like more but these estates all need it.
AE: Surveys that we have done show that the special speed limit is not making a difference. In Shamrock Lawn, we went back in and put in additional physical traffic calming measures. We hope that the special speed limits will become more common over time and so more noticed.
Cllr Forde asks about Green Valley and Bramble Hill. Could they be included in future list? Understands the budget is limited. New estates, adjacent to schools and playing pitches if we could target these.
Cllr Desmond: Also welcomes Maryborough and the others chosen. Wonders how we communicate this?
AE: They are subject to the normal public consultation period. Would go up on the Council website. Other than this, the estates see the signs go up. The signs are big and are at the entrance to the estates.
MDO says that he normally asks Members and Corporate Affairs to put bye-laws on social media. Also asks Tidy Towns groups to put them up on their social media. He uses the contacts in the areas.
Cllr Murphy: Agrees with Cllr McGrath – we get reports of estates that are not taken in charge. I put a motion in here two or three years ago to full Council: Jake’s Law. Is taking a long time to be brought in.
AE: This is a follow on from the Jake’s Law campaign. That’s where it started and it is being done on a phased basis.
Cllr Jeffers: Surveys – could you pass that information on to the gardai? Ask them to address it?
AE: Yes. We haven’t done that. Follows from Jake’s Law originally. Council committed to doing the 30 kph zones and if there was no perceived reduction that we’d have to consider other traffic calming measures.
Couldn’t see us being able to afford doing traffic calming in every single estate.
MKD: Asks about response from TII in relation to my motion re noise protection from the N40 on the Douglas village side of the flyover.
MDO: No, we never had acknowledgement or response. Will follow this up.
4. General Municipal Allocation/TDF
Twinning – doesn’t know if funding will be needed. Depends on the cycles.
Painting scheme – we allocatd €15k last year. Didn’t use it all. Hoping that we might push it even harder this year. So is increasing budget to €20k.
Environmental improvements – additional weedspraying, etc. That was for some of the lesser approaches. We already had funding for the main approaches to towns.
In general, we have supplemented the public funding by €20k every year. It has always been used fully every year.
The balance demonstrated is because we had to do footpath works. Then Area Office had to spend money around the airport and didn’t get to use it. So we’re carrying forward a balance.
Will meet Peter O’Donoghue and the AE in relation to the special spending from parking contributions in Douglas. This special spend will see €70-80k for Douglas.
Passage West Maritime Museum – CCC has to allocate €20k on top of the €100k obtained through the urban & village renewal funding. We’re hoping to get most of that from County funds. That will give a budget of €120k in total. Much of the background work is done. This week, work started on clearing out the old stuff inside. Would like to set aside the reserve budget as set out here in case anything is needed. We are making sure that everything that is in there is to museum standard. So if they want to go to Bord Fáilte or another, they’ll be at a good standard. This will stand to them when they’re looking for funding down the road. We may not need to use the €20k. It is in reserve.
Cllr Forde: Welcomes. Streetscape proposals that could be incorporated. Don’t just focus on footpaths – shrubberies in tubs, create that village feel. We have been asking for over the years.
Cllr D’Alton: Welcomes the spend in Douglas but asks that it would make decent streetscape improvements. Already asked that these would be addressed in our coming Douglas LUTS meeting. Asked also for consultation on improvements to streetscape so we wouldn’t have a situation as we did in Passage where there were streetscape improvements many think are a backward step. Litter on roadside verges between towns is appalling. Cogan’s Road is an example. Knows there is a limit to what we can litterpick but would really like to see us spend more on this. There is an issue with the spend on the entrances to towns. Last year, the whole width of the roadside verge into Passage West was sprayed so it was brown all summer. It looked appalling but was equally dreadful for biodiversity. Had we entered the Tidy Towns competition, we would have been slated. So please can we not do this kind of maintenance again next year.
A discussion about spraying followed – in town centre and elsewhere.
Cllr McGrath: Would like us to increase money to environmental stuff. Talks of within villages and towns too. Speaks particularly of approach to Douglas cemetery. Speaks of rat runs, e.g. roads between Shanbally and Raffeen village. Would like to see additional money go into those areas. Is not convinced about increasing the budget to the Painting Scheme. We put a lot of effort into it last time round. We could revamp – not sure how we might do this. Carrigaline are hosting the twinning this year. Is surprised that they haven’t been in touch.
The money to the museum is welcome. It is a great community project.
We need to look at getting the best bang for buck with this spend.
Agrees with Cllr D’Alton about the litter problem.
Cllr Canty: Ballincollig twinning are travelling this year. Wellbeing Festival – was there last year. It was a very wet day. Still good crowds turned up. They’d like to do one more year in Ballincollig to cement it in. They were unfortunate in the weather.
Cllr Murphy: Had a good few enquiries about the painting scheme. Asks about signage for Ardmore. Does it come under this? People who took up the funding are people who live in the area. In a lot of rented properties, people didn’t. Can we chase these?
Cllr Jeffers: Welcomes generally. Reserves for Passage museum very good. Potential for significant funding for Douglas is welcome. This is money that will actively make a different. It is important when spending this money that we get the best for it. The painting scheme might have to be rejigged. Would like to see eradication of neon lights, use signage/artwork instead. Marian Terrace and Grange Cottages on Grange Road needed. Has raised this before. Grange/Donnybrook – when you come into Donnybrook Hill, green side. Grange Heights landscaping outside. Signage there would improve. Douglas Tidy Towns have erected two wooden posts that have now gone bare. Maybe a bit of character would be given to these central points.
Cllr Harris: 12-17 year olds have very little recreational facilities in Douglas. We need a skatepark or something for this age group. There are hundreds of them congregating in different parts of Douglas. They hang out in the shopping centre. We have no pool hall, table tennis hall, etc.
Cllr Desmond: Welcomes report. Has huge interest in the environment area. It is a black hole for money. We need to discuss this more. Welcomes paint scheme. Is very conscious of changes in Douglas. Delighted to see that Douglas is very much on the map because it looks very pitiful. There is no village feel left at all. We’re all singing off the same hymn sheet on Douglas.
Cllr Forde also asks for consultation on streetscape improvements.
MDO: in relation to the environmental improvements: this is additional to the main approaches to towns money. The environmental improvements here is for the non-main approaches. We have a balance in the TDF. If we do allocate this money there is still money left.
Put forward ideas for next month. It will be much easier if we can all have something to look at in advance.
Cllr McGrath asks about more money for verge maintenance.
The Municipal District grant to Harlequins was approved.
Cllr D’Alton wants to readdress the black hole that environmental improvements have been described as. The spraying, etc. is done but often people don’t see that it has because growth is so vigorous. Has asked before that a log be maintained of when spraying, etc. is carried out. Knows this is difficult but we do need to keep track of what is done where, otherwise it will continue to be a black hole.
AE agrees but says they may be limited with spraying because of the weather. It is very difficult to deal with efficiently. There has been no spraying for the past month because temperatures have been cold.
We will think about this, come forward with suggestions and talk about it next month again.
5. Streetscape painting, signage and improvement scheme
MDO: Scheme is very much the same as we have had. The slight differences in that where a person undertakes the works themselves, they can get 100% of the cost of materials. We gave only a portion last year. The closing date is Fri 1 June. Areas in which the scheme will operate this year are Passage West, Douglas and Ringaskiddy. In Passage West, experience last year was that identifying ownership of the property was an issue. Also many buildings are three storey and it creates a lot of extra work compared to the normal 2 storey. We are proposing that if residents get together where there are three storey buildings, we will be flexible with the amount of funding that we will grant. We will talk to applicants about these. At the end of the scheme last year, people made contact and it was too late. Or they made contact and the weather changed.
Cllr McGrath: Is 100% funding of materials appropriate? Thinks 75 or 80% is enough.
MDO: This has become the norm in other MDs.
Cllr D’Alton: The greatest complaint I received last year was about the choice of colours on the application form. Many people didn’t like them. Thought they were dull.
MDO: We are very open to colour suggestions; we will not be sticking with what is on the form.
6. Village enhancement scheme
MDO: Propose to use the Village Enhancement Scheme in Ringaskiddy this year, specifically Gobby Beach. The Architects have been meetings with local residents. The MDO will send on the plans when he gets them.
Cllr D’Alton: Fantastic because Gobby is the only point at which the harbour can be accessed from Ringaskiddy. Very well used and the car park has been looking very tired.
Cllrs McGrath and Jeffers welcomed this also.
7. Town approaches 2018
Cllr D’Alton: Cllr McGrath has been asking for a barrier at a spot at the top of Church Hill to protect cars from falling into the ditch. Very beautiful view from this point. Would it be possible to tarmac the area in addition to providing the barrier so that enjoying the view could be formalised? It is an approach to Passage West town.
AE: The road is very narrow at this point and the ground is private. Do not think this would be possible.
8. Notices of Motion
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:
Cllr. D Forde
- “That the Engineer gives a report on what actions can and should be taken on Church Street to deter illegal parking on the footpath which is a danger to pedestrians.”
- “That the Engineer gives a written report on
- The status of improvement design for Coach Hill and outline possible funding streams for the project which is urgently needed on safety issues.
- In the interim cut back the shrubbery to widen the roadway.
- Improve lighting for pedestrians.”
AE says she has driven the road twice and knows that there is little growth at this time of year. Knows there is a pinch point but there is no impinging shrubbery at the moment. Will cut if it grows but it isn’t there now. Also they are happy to add to public lighting in areas where there are safety concerns, they are not keen to augment lights where there isn’t a footpath.
Cllr Forde: there is a planning going through for the Educate Together which will be increasing footfall. Hears what the AE is saying. We have to put it on more than the long finger. Tom Stritch says he’ll have a look at it.
AE says she will liaise with him.
- “That the Engineer gives a written report on action to be taken to increase the safety of residents/vehicles exiting and turning right at Douglas Lawn adjacent to Bow Wow Bridge.”
Cllr Forde: Was promised bollards under the Bow Wow bridge about 15 years ago. Families are moved into Douglas Lawn now. Even going to Mass they need somewhere safe to walk.
AE: There are motorists of speed everywhere but that particular stretch of road has all the relevant traffic calming features: a bend – a short stretch of road – narrowing. It is difficult to assess what nature of speed is there. We are going to sit down with Peter to look at Douglas. Will see what could possibly be done. Have asked the property section to approach the property between the BW bridge and the entrance to the estate that is blocking footpath connectivity and not helping visibility. Yellow box isn’t a speed reduction measure. There are 25 houses in Douglas Lawn. Has no problem with a yellow box if traffic can’t get out but if traffic is flying by, a yellow box isn’t going to help you get out.
Cllr. M Murphy
- “That the Engineer considers the inclusion of Ardmore Estate as part of the works programme for 2018.”
Cllr Murphy: In the top terrace in particular the roads are bad.
AE: Wasn’t 100% sure what the notice of motion was about but knows that the top terrace is one of the worst left. The footpaths are old as well. It’s too big to do it all in one go but we might be able to tackle the top terrace road surface.
Cllr McGrath says he supports this as a former resident of the estate.
- “That the Engineer considers installing Traffic Calming measures, possibly signage, on the road from Maulbaun to the Old Graveyard.”
Cllr Murphy: A dog was killed there by a refuse truck. A resident there says people are speeding.
Cllr. M D’Alton
- “That this Municipal District Committee would submit an observation to An Bord Pleanála in support of Aldi’s planning application for the former Eurospar supermarket, Passage West on the grounds that:
– The proposed delivery of the Aldi service into an existing supermarket building is very badly needed in Passage West.
– Passage West is a satellite town with notably poor retail offerings for its resident population.
– The grounds on which the appeal has been taken have been proven to be not relevant as Eurospar formerly operated out of this building for many years.
– The provision of supermarket-sized convenience retail within Passage West would alleviate the need for residents to travel to meet their shopping needs and would consequently reduce traffic congestion to and in the adjacent settlements of Douglas and Carrigaline.”
This is no longer necessary. Cllr D’Alton welcomed the fact that the Aldi development is going ahead.
- “That Cork County Council would install a pelican crossing at the current uncontrolled crossing location outside St. Peter’s Community School, Passage West.”
Cllr D’Alton: There is an uncontrolled crossing there at present. Cars queue in the mornings going to both the primary and secondary schools. They also park along the road. People and children in particular are crossing between the cars. A pelican crossing could be used when the school is busy at start and finishing times but allow traffic to flow unhindered for the rest of the day.
Cllr McGrath said he has spoken to the AE about this in the past and supports the request.
AE: Went up there during the week to look. Cars stop on the yellow hatching. For that reason there would be merit in putting in the controlled crossing. The morning I was up there, there were cars everywhere. But if a controlled crossing is to be installed, there must be 3 car lengths either side where parking would be prohibited. The entrance to Barr an Bhaile would be within that zone. For the crossing to work, you can’t have cars parking beside it. So parking will be reduced and it is obviously at a premium. Therefore thinks it will cause a problem. Would prefer to see one of the school wardens used there.
Cllr D’Alton: There are two traffic wardens at the primary school. Both are necessary because there are two crossings. But we have also had resources issues with providing additional traffic wardens.
Cllr McGrath said that he has been pushing wardens for a long time and has been advised that infrastructure was the way to go because the resources weren’t there for traffic wardens.
Cllr. E Jeffers & Cllr. M Murphy
- “That this Municipal District would request the Tourism Section of Cork County Council to develop a tourism strategy for Carrigaline and surrounding areas of the Lower Harbour. This strategy should have a specific aim of attracting tourists who arrive via the port in Ringaskiddy, to these areas as key destinations.”
Cllr Jeffers: This is a gateway in Cork County on the southern side of the city. So much can be done in these towns. The GAA clubs are doing GAA tours on north side of the city.
Cllr Jeffers said much more in praise of the potential of Carrigaline and the harbour towns.
Cllr Murphy spoke of the Passage West Museum which is soon to open, the potential of using the river and the promise of connecting Passage West/Monkstown with the boat that serves Spike Island
Cllr McGrath also supports; says this area should receive more attention from the tourism section. It has a cluster of attractions – greenways – museum – ferry. Facilities need to be provided such as camping. This requires investment.
Cllr D’Alton referred to the motion she has had on the agendas of the last few full Council meetings. Proposes that the military fortifications of the Lower Harbour and Spike Island would, with the fortifications right up to Ballincollig, be designated a World Heritage Site. What we have in the Lower Harbour is very valuable. Supports the motion.
Cllr Desmond voiced her support too.
Cllr. S McGrath
- “To ask the Engineer to examine pedestrian safety in the vicinity of Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Rochestown.”
Cllr McGrath reads a section of an email he received. There are 501 pupils in Scoil Phadraig Naofa.
Cllr Desmond says she has already spoken to the AE about this.
The AE said she has been discussions with the BoM and parents in the last number of years. The official line in relation to development of this nature is that the planning application will include a road safety audit. When construction is complete, a closing road safety audit is done. It is supposed to tackle exactly these types of issues. In this case, the closing road safety audit was done last September. The Area Office has asked for the report but hasn’t received it. Planning hasn’t received it either. It would be wrong to step in and do other works before the recommendations of the audit are known. Confirms Cllr Desmond has been in touch about this.
- “To seek an update on the upgrade of the Ballinrea/Cork Road roundabout and the infrastructural improvements associated with the development of the Education Campus.”
Cllr McGrath: We are aware that the special contribution has been paid over. It is approximately €800,ooo. Where are we at now? Is the design work underway? Hopes the uncontrolled crossing near the roundabout will be upgraded. Cost of the works?
AE: You have raised so many issues that we might go away and do a report. This is being handled by the Design Office. Can’t give specific answers. Tried to get something for today’s meeting but the relevant people weren’t available. Can say that the contributions are not enough. Council own funds will need to supplement the works.
Cllr Jeffers speaks in support as well.
- “To seek an update from the Engineer on the acquisition of the mobile speed feedback signs for this MD.”
Cllr McGrath: A policy was approved for this. Wonders about the community involvement element of this policy. Wonders whether it has been used in our MD.
Cllr D’Alton: Confirms that the policy requires community involvement and regular moving of the signs. Spoke to the Area Office about this in the past couple of weeks. Hoped to obtain signs for use at Coolmore Cross and that they could be moved between here, Shanbally and the entrance to Ringaskiddy. Very difficult to use the policy in a community such as, for example, Monkstown where there is nowhere to move them. But with the Coolmore/Ringaskiddy area, it is possible.
AE: What was suggested that different communities could contribute a certain amount towards those signs being available for their particular community. It is my intention to put up some of the signs where they might be effective. Very slow to use them liberally. Intends to move them. Agrees that it would be difficult under the policy to use them in some places. What was originally intended was that the Tidy Towns or similar community group would come up with a percentage of the cost to purchase and the Council would buy and it would be for distribution throughout the contributing communities. The pole for the sign sits into a socket in the ground. They are movable as opposed to mobile.
A debate about community involvement followed.
AE thinks Coolmore isn’t the best place for these because they would be too close to the existing sign on Church Road. Cllr McGrath supports the suggestion that they would be used at Coolmore Cross. The 50 kph zone here is not respected. Says he brought this in a motion a couple of years ago and he got the same answer then as I have now!
- “To request a report from the Engineer on possible works that could be undertaken to reduce speed on Donnybrook Hill, specifically by the entrances to Calderwood and Bromley, with the purpose of making these estates safer to exit.”
Cllr Forde supports. The lights and pedestrian crossing are wonderful. TII and the Council have to be complimented.
AE: The proposed ramp at Calderwood is the answer. That won’t be done for another couple of years as part of the traffic calming/pedestrian enhancement. Cllr Desmond has brought this up also. Is considering looking at the driver feedback signs for the traffic coming up from the Maxol. Thinks there is to be another ramp at Maxol as well.
- “That an update be given on a previous motion to install a pedestrian crossing on the Grange Road, in the general area of Clifton and Supervalu.”
Cllr Jeffers: This is a dangerous spot with huge volume of pedestrians. Could works be done in conjunction or something of that nature to give the pedestrian crossing and eliminate speeding?
Cllr McGrath says he has discussed this with the AE before; many residents contact us on that. Asks that the AE would also remember the yellow box at Clifton.
AE: Don’t have an issue with a pedestrian crossing but doesn’t want to get it in the wrong place. Has spoke to Peter O’Donoghue. He has funding for looking at the Grange Road in its entirety. They will be asking consultants this year to do a design wrt pedestrian enhancements including bus stops, crossings, etc. If the crossing is in the same spot as is recommended by the consultants, we can isolate it and go ahead with it. Doesn’t want to go ahead without that recommendation.
- Votes of congratulations
Cllr Forde says speeding in Green Valley is a concern. Also asks about spray paint in Pinecroft.
Cllr Forde: Asks the AE to check an email re Ravensdale.
Cllr D’Alton says that she has received a complaint that the recent tree cutting carried out at the entrance to Passage West was done in April in the nesting season. A bird’s egg was found smashed on the footpath during the cutting. Knows the weather has been poor and the cutting was requested. But the person who complained has suggested that if it is necessary to cut in the nesting season, it would be done in the last two weeks of August rather than at the beginning of the nesting season.
Cllr D’Alton read out a message she had received in relation to gravel on the R610 left behind after the Irish Water works. AE says she will investigate and address.
Cllr McGrath asks about the crossing on the Kilmoney Road. Cars are upon it before they know it is there. Wonders if signage could be put in.
The proposed apartment development for the green in front of Doodlebugs, Pembroke Wood has been granted planning permission.
Rowan View Developments applied to Cork County Council for planning permission to construct 24 No. apartments over 3 floors and all associated development works including access, car parking, landscaping, amenity areas, bicycle storage and service/refuse facilities.
During the course of the planning assessment, Rowan View Developments has been asked to reduce the scale of the development to 18 No. apartments over 3 floors.
The Decision and Conditions are here:
Decision & Conditions
The Planner’s Reports are here:
The junction works proposed by Cork County Council are at the following link. They include for a cycle path/pedestrian footpath through the junction and along the N28 for a short distance in either direction. They also include for uncontrolled pedestrian/cycle crossings on the N28 on either side of the junction. Submissions are welcome as per the planning notice:
The following is a link to my observation to the Board to support the Aldi planning application for its intended Passage West store:
The following link will bring you to a copy of the appeal lodged with An Bord Pleanála in respect of the planning permission granted by Cork County Council to Aldi for its proposed store in the former Eurospar, Passage West:
(Please note any scrawls and scribbles are my own!)
If you would like to use the following letter of observation to be sent to An Bord Pleanála to support the Aldi planning application for Passage West, please:
- print it off
- get 10 signatures on it and €5 from each person who signs
- fill in your address for correspondence from the Board
- post the signed letter with the €50 directly to the Board
- if you have a problem with co-ordinating the sending off, contact me and I’ll help
- make sure it gets to the Board by 30th April.
Over 200 local people involved in a series of community consultations have informed the drafting of a set of aims for the town of Passage West. These have been encapsulated into a Strategic Plan which you can read at this link:
The Passage West Strategic Plan was completed in conjunction with Cork County Council and with the leadership of SECAD (South and East Cork Area Development) under the first round of Urban and Village Renewal funding from the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
The Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District has distributed over €225,000 through the Municipal District Grant to community, voluntary and sporting groups and to residents associations throughout the Municipal District.
Since this grant scheme was set up three years ago, over €830,000 has been allocated through the scheme to assist local groups. The funding has proved invaluable to a wide variety of organisations and the Council continues to receive very positive feedback about what the grant scheme helps them to achieve.
2018 allocations are at the following link:
Municipal Grant allocations
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:
- Martin Walsh acknowledges that he has had extensive communication with most of the representatives over the past few months, whether by phone or email. He thanks us for the invitation to our meeting.
- The 220 service was introduced in August 2014. The 220X was introduced in February 2016. They operate every hour. The routes were extended to Grangemanor and subsequently to the Ferney Road. You are saying there should be reviews; there have been multiple reviews and these alterations to the service are examples of the results of these reviews.
- For the 220, the plans going forward are to increase frequency to every 15 minutes, 7am to 7pm. That will take extra allocations of buses and drivers. We’re recruiting to do that.
- We’re expecting new fleet this year too. The NTA generally approves our services and funds them. They’re happy with what has happened in Cork over the last 4 years. Any investment they have put in has delivered a good response. We will be increasing the Saturday and Sunday evening services. The route will be extended to the Carrigaline Primary Care Centre. There will be more extensions to Crosshaven. The loop within Carrigaline will be re-examined.
- As part of that review, for Passage West and other locations along the route, connections will be improved. The timetable on that is still work in progress with the NTA. It will include routing through Waterpark.
- We discuss proposals with the NTA. We have an avalanche of suggestions coming back to us and pass them on to the NTA. At the end of the day, they’re the ones deciding. I don’t think what will come will be bad. There will be changes on the 220X, 223 and 216 to improve connectivity. Those changes are work in progress. What shape that wil be in the end, I can’t say. We’re talking about this with the NTA.
- There are no plans to divert Bus Eireann services into Ballygarvan. The NTA is examining how to do connect Ballygarvan to the Bus Eireann network.
- Passenger numbers have doubled on the 220 and 220X since 2014. That’s a significant figure. We have 115,000 passenger journeys per month. The pages most relevant to Cork in the Statistical Bulletin I forwarded are pages 10 and 12. Our growth in Cork is greater than any other place in the country or service in the country. We’re not sitting on our hands. We’ve hired well over 100 drivers in the last few years. Fares were reduced so that will create further passenger demand.
- To give you some background info on resources allocated: the 220 at peak has 9 buses, the 220X has 3, the 223 has 6. There are up to 20 buses and 30 drivers each day operating on these routes. Frequency going to every 15 minutes means we will need many more drivers and buses. Were recruiting for that at the moment.
- Traffic congestion is the main issue along the routes. 90% of my correspondence with you is between September and December. That’s when schools and colleges come back and the whole thing goes pearshaped.
- I forwarded you extracts from a pinch point review of Cork City to identify the worst nodes in Cork. This was an NTA commissioned report carried out by Jacobs. It really points out that we need bus lanes. We have them in various places and they’re great where they are. We’ve taken figures of our average speeds where there’s a bus lane: 20 – 22 km/h at peak vs 2 – 3 km/h at peak where there’s no bus lane. Bus Eireann has 2,637 bus movements through Cork City each day. 972 of those are through Patrick St. There needs to be serious investment and commitment in giving street space to buses. People will use the buses.
- There was a mention of buses lying idle and drivers not being available. Drivers are governed by driving regulations. When they’ve hit their time, they can’t drive. I have been asked about overtime: we have a staff notice pinned up asking drivers to do overtime. There is no reluctance on giving overtime. If someone wants it, its there.
- We have contractors coming in to help us out. We’re using more than we did in the past. We need to but would like to see that revert. We will use contractors going forward on Fridays and Sundays as we did in the past but we’ve always been proud to say that we have been able to cover 99.9% of our trips ourselves.
- You ask about splitting the route. One of the reasons the Carrigaline – Ballincollig route is so popular is that there is a direct connection to UCC, CUH and CIT. I can’t split the route anyway even if I think it’s the right thing to do. I was very vocal when it was brought in that it would serve every customer along the route. The service has to be as convenient as possible. People in Douglas now use it to get to UCC or CIT.
- Capacity is an issue. We had a double decker operating between Crosshaven and Fountainstown. We had an issue with overhanging trees and so now we use single deck buses.
- New routes between Carrigaline, Mahon, Ringaskiddy, Little Island – I have asked that question and have been told that they are not being considered at the moment.
- There are no plans to extend services to Carrigmahon but the 223 is still work in progress and this can be examined further.
- The 206 is a good route. I would like it to stay like that. You heard Shane Ross the other day. We don’t have the authority to change things but we’re very open in what we think is right and wrong. I get feedback from all the meetings I go to, staff, etc. and feed all that back into the decision-making process.
- On being contactable in the city: we are working on getting a presence in the city centre again. It is difficult to cover the Patrick St/South Mall area. Sometimes the city centre is difficult traffic-wise. We have CCTV in the city centre. It is linked back to Capwell. We have an AVL locator on all the buses and there is someone monitoring this all the time so we can tell where a bus is or whether it is delayed.
- Bus shelters – in the past we would have fed information through our own head office to the NTA as to where we thought bus shelters should be. We still do that but have less say in it now. Now it’s up to the NTA. They completely decide where to put them. I’m sure our requests have some impact. I have been asking for a bus shelter for the bridge in Carrigaline for years. I have been getting the same answer for years; the bridge isn’t wide enough. I think they don’t want to dig the bridge either. They don’t want to move on up the street because the shelther would be outside premises. It is just unfortunate because it is one of the busiest bus stops. The NTA and CCC could possibly talk about how to improve on the situation here.
- Will pass on the request about increasing frequency to Donnybrook to the NTA. The 207 on the south side comes out the Douglas road. So does the 220 and 216. It is only beyond Grange Cross that people have a half hour frequency. The schools on the Back Douglas road are a big driver in the peak. I don’t think a direct Donnybrook service is likely to happen.
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:
- Setting statutory limit values for excessive environmental noise levels based on recommendations from the World Health Organisation for the protection of human health
- Identifying a regulatory assessment method for environmental noise
- Establishing consistency between noise mapping bodies and action planning authorities
- Allowing for the effect of low frequency noise
- Including for noise control from ports
- Setting out a methodology for identifying “quiet areas” as required by Directive 2002/49/EC (Environmental Noise Directive)”
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:
- Removal of the existing roundabout
- Installation of traffic signals on four approach roads
- Revised layout of road into Willow Park and Gaelscoil Na Doughlaise, incorporating possible signsalisation.
- Revised layout of lanes and the end of N40 off ramp
- Extension of footpaths and construction of a traffic island
- Coordination with signals at West Douglas/N40 On Ramp and also Douglas East junctions
Benefits of the proposed scheme
- Roundabout removed and replaced with signalised junction
- Better distribution of time for all traffic at junction
- Safer access to schools for pupils and parents
- Much-improved pedestrian facilities
- Bus detection enabling improved journey times
- Linking of two traffic signalized junctions at Douglas West with junctions at Douglas East
- Performance example: No blocking back onto the N40
- Performance example: Improved journey times for buses on South Douglas Road
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: