Notes from a full meeting of Cork County Council, 23rd November 2015


  1. Minutes of Meeting of the Council held on 27th October, 2015
  2. Minutes of Budget Meeting held on the 9th of November 2015

Proposed and seconded.


[b]           VOTES OF SYMPATHY

  1. Votes of Sympathy (if any) to the relatives of:
  • members or employees of the Council,
  • dignitaries of Church or State, or
  • members of old I.R.A. and Cumann na mBan.



3.  Disposal of Property
Section 183 of the Local Government Act, 2001: 

(a).          Amendment to Disposal of property at Copperhill, Broomfield, Midleton, by the substitution of 26, 27, 29, 31, 43, 45, 46 Cherry Orchard to 26, 27, 29, 31, 43, 45, 46 Copperhill, Broomfield, Midleton, being the area of said properties.

(b)           Amendment to Disposal of 27A Elm Grove, Gort an Oir, Castlemartyr, Co. Cork. from Rafal Fifipowicz & Ildiko to Lukasz Tycho

(c).       Disposal of property No.’s 9, 10, 21 & 22 Carrig Rua, Ballinagree, Co. Cork.


Cobh Municipal District Meeting: 15th October, 2015

(d).          Disposal of 57 Inishmore Park, Cobh, Co. Cork.


Ballincollig Municipal District Meeting: 19th October, 2015

(e).          Disposal of property at Dunworley, Laurel Hill, Rathanaker, Monkstown, Co. Cork.


Blarney Macroom Municipal District Meeting: 23rd October, 2015

(f).       Disposal of land at Knocknagown, Rylane, Co.Cork


Kanturk Mallow Municipal District Meetings: 1st October & 6th November, 2015

(g).          Disposal of Hawthorn, Eden Hill, Gortnagross, Mallow, Co. Cork

(h).          Disposal of property at 21 The Beeches, Upper Ballydaheen, Mallow, Co. Cork 


All approved.


4.  Section 37E(5) of the Planning & Development (Strategic Infrastructure ) Act, 2006:

Application by ESB Wind Development Limited to an Bord Pleanála for Construction of Grousemount Wind Farm, comprising of 38 no. Wind Turbines and all associated works in townlands in County Kerry and County Cork – submission of the Chief Executive’s Report and seeking the views of members on the proposed development.

Cllr A Moynihan (FF): The local community is concerned abou tthis development. Wants information on the community fund. The local community is especially concerned about the exempted part of the development. Very few locals are going to make submissions to the Board. The principle of wind is established on the site because there is already a planning permission in place for the site. The rural communities are getting more and more dissatisfied with proliferation of wind farms. We need to be turning to solar and other forms of renewable energy. A community fund should be part of the plan. The flood study that is to be done should be a 100 year flood study.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Not my area but wants to raise a point in relation to the CE’s report. The CE’s report concludes that the development complies with the policies and objectives of the CDP 2014 and would constitute proper planning and sustainable development. But the CE includes in his report three substantial areas where the Heritage Officer indicates insufficient information has been provided to make adequate assessment of potential impact on the environment. The CDP 2014 has a specific objective, even in areas where wind energy is encouraged, that such development must comply with the requirements of the Habitats, Birds and EIA Directives. So you cannot conclude that the development is in compliance with the CDP when its failure to provide adequate information contradicts the CDP.

Paul Murphy (Senior Planner): If a temporary bridge is installed (it may or may not be needed), a 100 year flood study will be part of it.

Interesting comment from Cllr D’Alton. The Bord is the competent authority in this application. It is not up to us to decide whether the EIS is adequate. The Board decides this.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): It is not up to the Board to say whether or not the development complies with the CDP. That is the CE’s role. And it does not, but we contradict the CDP by saying that it does.

PM: We are not assessing the wind farm, just the grid connection.

John O’Neill (Director of Services, Planning): The reports of the CE will got to the Board. The minutes of the meeting here will also go to the Board. The recommendations outlined by Cllr Moynihan will go to the Board.

Cllr B Moynihan (FF): Supports the comments made by Cllr A Moynihan in respect of the wind farm and particularly with regard to the community fund.   A strong point should be made on this that a substantial amount of money be provided for the community in and around the wind farm.

Cllr A Moynihan proposes that the points we have raised here will go to the Board as part of the CE’s report. Cllr B Moynihan seconds that.

Cllr A Moynihan proposes a wording for the points he raised. Cllr K Murphy (FG) is not happy. Wants to hear the CE’s view on the proposed wording.

CE: We always record the minutes of the meeting here and this will go as an appendix to the CE’s report to the Board. So that wording, including the response given by PM, can be included in the minutes of the meeting. That extract will go to the Board.

Cllr Hegarty (FG): Cllr Moynihan has said we should possibly be looking at alternatives. Not so sure that we can approve this. Thinks we are sending out different signals.

Cllr G Murphy (FG): If it is not regarded as a resolution of the Council and if the Senior Planner’s response is included, we don’t have a problem. But if that is not the case, we may.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Agrees with what Cllr Moynihan says. Thinks it should go as a resolution of Council because it will be stronger. Thinks we need a motion on the community fund also.

Cllr Moynihan will reword his concerns and distribute for approval before close of the meeting.


5.  Section 221 of the Local Government Act 2001:  Annual Report 2014

Adoption of the Annual Report for 2014.

(I slipped out for a minute.)



6.  Corporate Policy Group:

  • Approval of attendance by Council members at Conferences on the Conference List for November, 2015 approved by the Corporate Policy Group at their meeting on 3rd November 2015.
  • Approval to Funding of €22,500 p.a. for 3 years for Foroige.

CE: This was a difficult situation because programmes previously run by Foroige could have been discontinued without our funding. In future, if Foroige wants to engage they should present their proposals through the municipal districts. These are good programmes so for a once-off situation it will allow Foroige to continue their work into 2016.


7.  Housing SPC:

Proposed Amendment to Appendix of the “Application to Cork County Council for Social Housing Support” – “Areas of Preference” (Approved by Housing SPC 16th October 2015)

Cllr McGrath (FF): The SPC is proposing these changes as a tidying up exercise. Some of the areas on the list were misleading housing applicants because the Council didn’t have properties in these areas.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Happy to second this proposed amendment. Had a motion on it during the summer. Lehanaghmore and Togher were, for example, the same area but were listed separately. Now it gives a greater range of choices in terms of the areas offered. Thanks the SPC officials for working on this.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Interested to see Araglin listed. Never knew there were houses in Araglin. Why is it on the list?

List is agreed.


8.  Social & Community SPC:

  • Cork County Council Social Inclusion Statement
  • Amendment to Letter of Offer for Grants under the Municipal District Amenity / Community Fund Schemes

Proposed and seconded.


9.  Cobh Municipal District:

“Given the central importance of Little Island as a residential, industrial and employment hub could Cork County Council please furnish the members with details of their general traffic management plans, emergency plans, and efforts to alleviate daily congestion on the Island so that the area can continue maintain its competitiveness and continue to attract corporate investment.”

Response to Little Island motion

Cllr O’Sullivan (FF): Have great respect for Peter and the work he does but very disappointed with aspects of the response provided. In 2006, Part 8 was approved for improvement of 7 junctions. In 2009, Cork County Council prepared a traffic management study. In all this time, only one junction has been improved. There have been no further improvements on the other 6 junctions to date. Is asking the Council what the business community in Little Island is asking him. These businesses pay heavily in rates, etc. but see little in return. The Little Island Business Association estimates the annual contribution from Little Island businesses to be approximately €30 million per annum. A large retail complex recently opened and large office blocks too. All this is to the detriment of the local residential population. There are approximately 2,000 residents in Little Island who are often forgotten about. Many jobs have been created in little island and all the time the people are left with a defunct road structure. Is asking the Council to please engage with TII to find a resolution. Have been contacted by so many people. Posted an on-line video that has been viewed and shared 50,000 times. Nowhere in the report furnished today was there a proposal to addres an emergency in Little Island, particualrly in peak traffic times.

Is asking for a new entrance onto Little Island from the N25. Little Island needs a third entrance. Dsiputes some of the detail in the report. Referencing the railway lines and the bus stations is a non-runner. SECAD recently tried to get a bus to ferry employees from the train station to the industries and that bus failed. The upgrading of the Dunkettle Interchange is not going to solve anything. The problem is local traffic.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind): Supports in full. Was at the Little Island Business Association awards on Friday and has been at several openings in Little Island. There are 1,000 businesses in Little Island with 15,000 people working there apart from the residents themselves. As a huge rate base, we have to take note of these people and what they want. This needs to be prioritised as Little Island is such an important part of our commercial infrastructure going forward.

Cllr Barry (FG): This is an issue we have raised many times at municipal district level. Has been raised here before – the volume of rates and level of funding going into the County from Little Island is significant. Traffic chaos is an impediment to future investment in Little Island. Doesn’t see the Dunkettle Interchange making any real difference. The rail line does not work for Little Island. It is only fair to the businesses that we do something about improving the infrastructure within the island. Hopes the Counci will get onto the NRA. Knows the NRA is not great for getting back to us.

Cllr Keohane (Ind): There was a 6am pile up again this morning. The emergency services couldn’t get in. A courier whom he knows won’t go near the island before 10am or after 4pm. When there is a radio announcement on an accident coming off the island, the traffic diverts into Glanmire. Then it creates havoc in Glanmire. Supports Cllr O’Sullivan’s proposal.

Cllr Rasmussen (Lab): Emergency plans are not commented on at all in the report. Knows funding and land acquisition are issues. But emergency plans must be addressed. Supports the motion.

Cllr K McCarthy (Ind): Supports for all the reasons already stated and is long overdue.

Cllr Sheppard (FG): Supports. This issue has come before us at municipal district level. Has seen the videos shared by Cllr O’Sullivan on social media. Scary to watch. There was a traffic issue 10 years ago. We have given planning for all these businesses to develop. We have helped cause the traffic chaos. We have a responsibility to ease some of this traffic.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Aware of workers travelling from as far away as Macroom and Ballyvourney to Little Island. Traffic in Little Island makes the journey within the island slower than the journey from Macroom to Cork. Fully supports the motion.

CE: One of the major solutions to this is the upgrade of the Dunkettle Interchange. This will help to solve many of the issues. This project will progress to tender stage. We would like to ensure that the various projects approved in 2006 would be treated as a priority by the NTA and we will continue to push this. Perhaps funding might get more easily accessed over the coming years. There has been very little funding available in the last 10 years. Yes, Little Island has been a success in terms of rates, etc. It is very clear that the success of many areas in Metropolitan Cork have brought success to the rest of the county. Reiterates that the development contribution rate block contributes to the rest of the county. There is an inter-agency emergency plan in place for Little Island. Has no issue with this being debated in Council but thinks it could be debated at municipal district level.

Cllr O’Sullivan (FF): Brought this before full Council because Little Island is a unique case given the amount of rates or contributions it gives to full county. Asks if he could have a figure for the rates coming from Little Island. Even a figure for the municipal district would do. The Dunkettle Interchange will take the traffic coming from Dublin. The traffic going to Little Island will access the traffic from the motorway. The interchange will not help much.

CE suggests that Peter O’Donoghue would attend a municipal district meeting.

CE: We don’t record specific rates collected from specific areas. If council wants to decide to reallocate the rates income to enhance Little Island, we will have to take services from something else. We have adopted our budget. We can put the rates information together but it will take time and will be almost irrelevant. Agrees Little Island needs special attention. We are always trying to press the buttons of the national funding agencies.

Cllr Cullinane: This issue already was at municipal district level. We were asked to bring it to full Council. Where do we go from here?

CE: Peter O’Donoghue can go to the municipal district if you want further information on junctions.


10.  Development Committee:

“The members of Cork County Council call on the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to introduce as a matter of urgency legislation which would allow the nine former Town Council Town Development Plans in Cork (Cobh, Clonakilty, Fermoy, Kinsale, Macroom, Mallow, Midleton, Skibbereen and Youghal) to be superseded by Local Area Plans and on such basis it is proposed to include the former Town Council administrative areas within the Local Area Plan review which is currently underway”

Proposed and seconded.

Cllr O’Keeffe asks for clarification on where this has come from. Reminded that it came from a meeting of the Development Committee.

Cllr Murphy (FG): How have other counties dealt with this anomaly?

CE: The manner in which the legislation is written and the timing of the passing of the legislation is such that there are only a number of local authorities nationally that are affected by this. It is simply a timing issue.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Will all the Town Council areas be included as villages and key settlements or will there be a special area plan for each former Town Council area within the LAP?

CE: All towns will be treated equally.



11.  Chief Executive’s Report on Submissions Received to the Proposed Amendment No. 2 to the Midleton E.A. Local Area Plan 2011 – Carrigtwohill and Water-Rock Framework Masterplans

Cllr Hegarty (FG): Biggest concern is will these masterplans come to fruition? Will we see meaningful action on the ground. These plans have been there since 2005. Within the Local Area Plan (LAP), it is stated that additional lands must be identified to allow expansion of our towns, especially those on public transportation corridors. If we do not see meaningful action on the ground wtihin the timeframe of the LAP, wants us to seriously look at our approach.

Cllr Barry (FG): Is in favour of the broad outline of bringing masterplans in, but has huge concerns. Has serious concerns that the N25 upgrade has been put on the backburner but we are still proposing to put 5,000 units in these two areas. The N25 is a parking lot at rush hour. Accepts that it is in the masterplan documents that we would see thse upgrades being done. But sees other areas in Carrigtwohill in which promised railway infrastructure was not delivered. Has concerns about flooding. Has raised Slatty Pond many times. We are now proposing to bring more water down to Slatty Pond without any remedial works being done. We are proposing to give planning and it is incumbent on us to ensure the infrastructure will be in place in time. If these masterplans do not take off, we need land for housing that will take off … zoning is very important.

Cllr N Collins (Ind): Fully supports because it will help provide social housing.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): One of the biggest issues here is the co-operation of service providers: the OPW, NRA, Irish Rail. We need to bring them along. There is a demand for housing in East Cork but the big point is have the government agencies come on board?

CE: Housing supply is one of the most critical issue facing Metropolitan Cork at the moment. No other authority is as well advanced outisde of Dublin in terms of its own executive proving the case that Cork needs to be dealt with. We are engaging with all of the national agencies. We are talking to the NTMA in relation to the strategic investment fund. We are making the case that Cork is just as challenged as Dublin is. The success of that was demonstrated when measures were announced by government recently – specifically mentioning the Metropolitan Cork region – to unlock development land. We are awaiting further development of that. But if we weren’t doing our work here, you would not have heard Cork being mentioned in terms of this investment fund. For the first time ever, Cork was acknowledged as having the same magnitude of an issue as Dublin. The 9 Masterplan areas are located in the 9 areas we think are the most important and the most capable of beig serviced. We will be challenged to find alternative sites that are more suitable. If they don’t come onto the market, we will have a particualr problemthat will have to be tackled during the LAP process. We have said the same to the CIF.   We have asked them to bring us other lands if they think they are more appropriate for development. The work we hve done to date is the work we need to continue to do. The private equity funding model has still not been resolved so this is not just an issue about infrastructural provision. We need to keep this matter high on our agenda during the LAP process. Shares the concerns expressed but would not be giving up the ghost now.

Cllr Buckley (SF): There has been an extensive engagement between all bodies. We welcome the report. People in the locality were nervous that these masterplans could be pie in the sky. Hopes that they will come to fruition sooner rather than later.

Cllr K McCarthy (Ind): Welcomes the report. If these come on stream, the upgrade of the N25 is essential. In the Fota Rock estate there is only a wire boundary fence preventing children from running onto the N25. Nothing is happening to put better safety measuers in place. If these masterplans are going ahead in the future, we must look at little things like this and get our priorities right.

Cllr Hegarty wants confirmation that his concerns about delivery of the masterplans would be recorded.



Signalisation of junction of R665 Kildorrery Road, Church Street and George’s Street, Mitchelstown.

(6 FF in chamber, 10 FG in chamber)


13.  Quarterly Report of the Chief Executive on Corporate – Library, Fire & Building Control.

Proposed and seconded.



14.  Department of Education and Skills:
Letter dated 21st October, 2015, in response to motion dated 14th September, 2015, regarding Cork Educate Together Secondary School.



15.  Department of Environment, Community and Local Government:
Letter dated 4th November, 2015, in response to motion dated 12th October, 2015, regarding additional funding for provision of sheltered housing to non- profit Housing Associations for the elderly. 

Cllr N Collins (Ind): Welcomes the letter. Appeals to this Council to make proposals to the Department of the Environment under CAS for delivery of sheltered housing to East Cork and beyond.


[g]           NOTICES OF MOTION

16.  Councillor Gerard Murphy:

“Considering the recent changes to the Valuation Amendment Act 2015 exempting Community Childcare facilities from paying commercial rates and considering the Minister recent reply to the topical issues on arrears, I am calling on the Council to write off these arrears as a gesture of good will acknowledging the tremendous work being done by these community voluntary organisations.”

Cllr Murphy (FG): This motion speaks for itself. There was an amendment act passed to the valution acts recently exempting community childcare from paying commercial rates. The Minister says the arrears question is an issue for each individual council. All these organisations are non-profit, all voluntary and there has been an assumption that because they were non-profit they were not liable for rates anyway. The new valuation amendment act has recognised that they shouldn’t ever have been included. Volunteers put tremendous work into establishing community childcare facilities, running them and teaching in them. We should remember that the costs have to be kept low to ensure people can afford the services they are providing.

Cllr Lombard (FG): This is a very important proposal. It will bring benefit to local communities. These are non-profit making and they deliver something that no-one else can deliver on the ground. Unfortunate that they were ever included. Agrees that we should exempt them or the parents or commmunities will have to pay.

Cllr Doyle (FF): Supports the proposal. These are community based organisations run by community people. The rates arrears have been built up on the balance sheets. Quite worrying for the organisations.

(Was pulled aside for a few minutes.)

Cllr McGrath (FF): Comends the government for making this change. They should never have been included. Proposes that we set up a national fund to reimburse the community childcare facilities who have already paid their rates.

CE: Can’t see how writing off the arrears would be showing goodwill to the 80 – 85% who have paid up every year. That would not be fair. Won’t be writing off those debts but will give those who are outstanding every facility possible to write off the debt over a number of years. The issue of equity comes into play here.

Cllr Murphy (FG): Understand the CE’s position but we cannot condone where years of outstanding rates would force a childcare centre to close or to downgrade its services. Welcomes that any childcare facility that has arrears will be dealt with sympathetically. Must not affect the service that these facilities provide to families. As a Council, we only have power to make a recommendation to the CE.

CE: Welcomes the comments from Cllr Muprhy but is clear that impact on service delivery needs to be dealt with by those who runs the services as well. I am not the only player in this. That is an important message also.


17.  Councillor Noel Collins:

“That this Council call on the Department of the Environment & Local Government, for the establishment of a certification scheme under which landlords would have to prove their compliance with basic quality and safety standards before a property be rented, rather than depending on inspections by local authorities.” 

Cllr Collins (Ind): More than 1 in 5 properties inspected last year failed to meet basic requirements. That was an improvement on the previous year but not by much. Some properties are new but others are old. Many are occupied by individuals in need of state rent supplement. They are also in need of protection from greedy landlords. New standards for rental accommdation in 2011 seem to have changed nothing. The small number of prosecutions taken by local authorities against landlords does not mirror the extent of the problem. The State pays more than €500 million per year in rent supplement to needy tenants. This is often paid on substandard accommodation.   Despite the ghost estates all over the country, many young famiiles continue to live in old, substandard accommodation.

Cllr Linehan Foley (Ind): Seconds. Private rents are flying up and some of the accommodation offered have appalling conditions.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Up until now, local authorities sent out private inspectors to inspect properties. Presumes the motion means that before a property is rented out, the landlord would have to get a certificate. In Cork, 93% of properties inspected failed minimum standards. The problem is getting progressively worse.

Cllr McCarthy (FG): Agrees with a certification scheme. Would hope that it can be carried out through the local authority.   Doesn’t see the merit in having another agency set up to do this. So agrees in principle but need to proceed with caution.

Cllr G Murphy (FG): We need to be careful. This was discussed recently at an AILG meeting. Many of the councillors were unhappy with the roll out of HAP in their counties. Knows it is ok here and is improving slowly. Two issues arose in other counties which we have overcome: the inspection can take place in 5 – 6 months and the landlord does not have to produce a tax clearance certificate for 6 months. The more complicated we make the HAP system, the more we will slow it down.   Landlords will not want to join it. Many counties have much to learn before we roll it out. Asks members to hold off for a bit until HAP is working.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): Agrees with Cllr Murphy. The proposal is premature and would slow down or stall entirely the HAP process. At this stage, we need more people on the HAP scheme.

Cllr Forde (FG): Would like to support Cllr Collins. Thinks certification is important. But is also concerned about timing. We don’t want to make it harder for people to find properties to rent. Asks Cllr Collins to take these messages of support on board but thinks the timing may not be right.

Cllr T Collins (Ind): Supports the motion. Knows of a situation where a tenant moved into a property. Rent subsidy had been paid for a while but there was no electricity. The tenant had to move back out because the landlord did not connect the electricity. Properties should be inspected first before the tenant moves in. Make sure the landlord complies. In this case, money was paid to the landlord and he would not even connect electricity.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Supports the motion. Recognises the sentiments behind the concerns. In Cork the issue with HAP is that the rental caps are not high enough. No amount of good administration is going to overcome that. There is also an issue with a lack of supply. We can’t allow bad landlords to allow people live in substandard accommodation. Knows some people who didn’t want inspectors to call around even though they were living in substandard accommodation in case they might be evicted.

Cllr Linehan-Foley (Ind): Doesn’t agree with some of the speakers. Even with social housing, we have such a high standard before we pass a house to anyone. Doesn’t understand why we leave it for 6 – 8 months to check a house. Anyone who is paying rent deserves the right to be in a property that is fit to be lived in. There are good and bad landlords but why would you leave it 6 – 8 months to certify a house before you move into it? Anyone who is renting a house, that landlord is being paid for his property and if the property is not fit to be lived in, no-one should live in it.


Motion is agreed. Cllr Collins thanks members for their support. Houses should be inspected before tenancy is signed and sealed.

Cllr G Murphy (FG): Asks for clarification on certification.

CE: Reading of the motion is that it can only be implemented by the Department if it funds local authorities to do the inspection or establishes an independent agency to do so.


18.  Councillor Susan McCarthy:

“That this Council, in an effort to alleviate the serious lack of available local authority housing in the short-term, investigate the possibility of installing modular housing at a suitably identified site or sites, preferably in the areas of the county where the numbers on the waiting list are most concentrated.” 

Cllr McCarthy (FG): East Cork is the only municipal district outside of Dublin and Cork that makes it into the top 10 areas with highest demand for social housing. There is a big issue here. The representative from the CIF outlined that the national need for social housing would be approx 25,000. Last year there were under 800 completions in Cork County. Modular houses are permanent structures. They appreciate the same as their on-site built counterparts. They are considered a form of green building. They are faster to build. The units provided by Dublin City Council comply in full with the buidling regulations and all statutory requirements with respect to fire safety, etc. Some people have concerns about anti-social behaviour. But these problems already exist and done tastefully and to a high specification, these units may become attractive starter homes for people who are on the witing ist for >5 years.

Time is of the essence. Public procurement competition for modular housing is not subject to the EU timelines. It may not be the ideal solution but these buildings have the same lifecycle as permanent homes. They fulfil short term needs and deliver long term benefits. Irish companies are involved in the construction of moduar houses although currently they are being imported. Nobody is proposing an alternative to these. Short term needs require short term solutions. Just asks that we investigate the feasibility of this project.

Cllr Mullane (SF): Would welcome the CE’s views on this. But has some questions. If Cork County Council were to put up modular housing, what land would be used?  Would it be short term?  Would modular housing applicants be considered adequately housed? Considers that it should be short term.

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Proceed with caution, although it should indeed be investigated. The homelessness crisis is that severe that all options msut be considered. The use of modular housing should be very specific. Short term accommodation only. Doesn’t think the people in modular housing should be considered to have their housing need met. A long term stay in modular housing could be very negative. Very poor living conditions. What were erected as temporary houses in Togher and the Glen ended up being permanent. This cannot be repeated. These should have a very specific purpose and should be limited to that purpose.

Cllr N Collins (Ind): Seconds the motion. Anything is better than nothing or behind a ditch or under a bridge. It is a very good proposal which could help to alleviate homelessness. Some farmers have been very kind in siting caravans on their lands with provision of portaloos to help those made homeless. The occupants are happy but it is only temporary until a permanent solution becomes available. Every little helps.

Cllr Hayes (SF): Supports the motion. Hears area of concern and shares them. Short term basis only. Should not be a replacement for building permanent houses. Have to be careful not to create ghettos going into the future. Doesn’t want it to be the Irish concept of trailer trash.

Cllr Forde (FG): Wanted to second the motion. First proposed modular housing here many months ago. Delighted to see it is gaining traction. It is a response to the dire need of people out there. A few months ago we spoke of landlords renting properties that are not fit to live in. This is another way of providing clean, warm homes. Modular housing doesn’t need lots of space so it can fit anywhere. Thinks we should go look and examine them ourselves and see are they good enough.

Cllr K Murphy (FG): Fully supports. Excellent proposal. Modular housing is high class which can be erected quickly. Unaware that we need to exercise any caution. This should be part of the overall housing strategy. Goes without saying that they should be short-term. It will be at least end 2017 before any house will be built in this local authority. We should be looking at every option.

Cllr Sheppard (FG): Supports. Has been helping a family of 7 who have been made homeless. They are currently living in temporary accommodation. Every night they go from place to place. Anywhere that has self-catering – Vienna Woods, etc. The Council is paying €708/week to house this family in emergency accommodation. We have to act on this.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): Supports with qualifications.

CE: Thinks we wil meet our targets through a range of options using standard housing types. Thinks we will not need to deliver modular housing.   But will keep it on the agenda as an option if we do not deliver our targets. In terms of Council examining the potential of this type of houing, we must always be aware that we are looking at different models internationally against a background which may not be aligned to our own culture of housing.

Cllr K Murphy asks that we keep this on the agenda. CE agrees. We report regularly on how we are working towards our targets and if modular housing needs to be introudced, then we would keep members briefed on this also.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Suggests that we get a Departmental view lest time should be lost in seeking same.

Cllr Forde (FG): Has spoken to a Department official and the Department is in favour.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Asks that we would get that officially.

CE: There are areas in Dublin where modular housing is being considered. This is great if it helps the Dublin local authorities to meet their targets. The same applies to Cork.   The Department will support if we cannot meet our targets otherwise. But we have projects in place that are utilising our lands for the delivery of housing. We will not revisit those properties because we believe they will deliver our targets. But we will still keep an eye on modular housing. Will ask that it be raised at Divisional Committee level also.

Cllr Cullinane (Ind): Supports anything that helps the housing crisis. But supports the CE’s stance and holds the CE responsible for what he is saying. Delighted to hear there is a strategic plan and would prefer to see this going forward rather than going for yet another short term solution. Thinks CE is being responsible in looking for a long term solution that he is telling us is within our control.

Cllr McCarthy: Asks that we notify the department of our interest in this. Thanks all for support – bar 1!


Grousemount Wind Farm:

Proposed wording is circulated and agreed: Moynihan’s wording on Grousemount

Cllr G Murphy (FG) asks for executive’s opinion on the wording. CE says it does not conflict with Council’s opinion and so Cllr G Murphy agrees to the wording.


Suspension of standing orders by Cllr O’Keeffe:

Letter from Department re valuations: DoE on valuations

O’Keeffe (FF): A global vauation of utilities has been taken by the valuation office. It affects the value of assets of service providers. It will have a major impact on our income for the coming year. The CE has given us a report. The impact of this revaluation on our local authority is €1.8m of a loss for 2016. The government has come on board and has provided €1.5m. It still leaves us with a shortfall. But the big issue is that we will have to adjust for this ourselves in future. Local government always takes the brunt of government cuts. We carry the brunt of having to raise extra money to proivde our services. Thinks it is time the government had a reform of the whole system by which we value our rates. Thinks we as a local authority are playing a yes minister type game. Why do we have to exhaust our reserves for an issue the government should be more responsible for?

Cllr McGrath (FF): This is a serious matter. Wants clarification: Are we now short €0.5 million?

Cllr O’Laoghaire (SF): Thinks it is daft that this level of rates reduction is being offered to big big companies at the expense of LA budgets. These companies are not the high street butcher. Has the same questions as regards clarification. Is not clear that sufficient attention was given to this in the budget book. The budget book did not indicate that we would be dealing with a shortfall. This should have been made clearer during the budgetary process.

Cllr O’Flynn (FF): These are mega-rich companies. Why are we carrying the weight of this? Why are we not offering the same relief to our small companies? Proposes we write to the Minister for Finance and the Environment and ask him to pick up the shortfall in future years. This will be have a savage impact on our budget in future years. As ever, the small man, small taxpayer will suffer.

Cllr G Murphy (FG): Thinks we need to look at the whole valuation process generally. Valuations in small towns are totally outdated. We need a faster revaluation of these properties so small businesses can survive in these towns. Assumes the companies involved are controlled by regulators and any savings they make will be passed on to the consumer and the underlying objective of this is to make the economy more competitive generally. The government is particularly good at this. Accepts the concern that this Council is losing income.

Cllr O’Grady (SF): Agrees this wasn’t clear enough in the budget process. How was funding found now? There was no funding available before.

CE: We didn’t expect 20% reduction at all. We expected far less – around 5-6%. But by our budget meeting, we were pretty sure that the government would pick up the shortfall. If this government funding hadn’t come through, the executive would be back to Council in March of next year indicating that we were challenged in respect of meeting our budgetary targets.

Cllr O’Keeffe (FF): These rates are the basis of our income in local authorities. It is not acceptable for local authorities to carry this can.

Cllr McGrath (FF): The bottom line is that we are down €0.5 million because of this valuation exercise. That is disgraceful. But next year it will be well more significant because we will be €1.8 million down. Asks that we contact the Department and request that this adjustment be made on a phased basis.


The remainder of the meeting is deferred.


  1. Councillor Joe Harris:

“That this Council register it extreme concern at the targeting of young people by the Gambling industry through aggressive marketing both on and off line. Furthermore that this Council communicate to the government that urgent action must be taken to protect people from the massive onslaught through all forms of media advertising that promote gambling.”


  1. Councillor Des O’Grady:

 “That this Council calls for the establishment of a Housing Co-Ordination Task Force for the supply of Social and Private Housing in Cork. The task force to comprise of representatives from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the Department of Finance, both Cork Local Authorities, Irish Water, the National Transport Authority, NAMA and Voluntary Housing Agencies as well as elected members from both City and County Councils.”


  1. Councillor Seamus McGrath:

“To seek a report outlining the number of Litter Wardens employed in each Division of Cork County Council.  Given the ongoing and widespread problem of illegal dumping and littering, to request that additional Litter Wardens be appointed across Cork County. ”



  1. Councillor Deirdre Forde:

That this Local Authority welcomes increased Government investment of €5 million in policing to tackle burglaries and related crime and calls on the Garda Commissioner to ensure that Cork is prioritised in her spend.” 


  1. Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe:

“That Cork County Council calls on the Government to ensure that Irish Water does not renege on the Service Level Agreement already in place for its workforce. This is to guarantee there will be no immediate redundancies of staff given the current deficiencies in the existing water and sewerage infrastructure.”




  1. Councillor Marcia D’Alton

“That a planning application to An Bord Pleanala made under the Strategic Infrastructure Act can be made no more than twice for the same nature of project on the same site.”






Notes from the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal Meeting, 15-11-2015

1.  Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Draft Budgetary Meeting and Ordinary Meeting held on 19th October 2015

Cllr D’Alton: Had asked for details of spending in the municipal district during 2015 so that we could compare it to what is proposed in the draft budget for 2016.

MDO said he has sent details of this on.  Cllr D’Alton said she would check again.

Cllr McGrath: Knows that it is only a month since it was requested, but is there any chance the trees on the Lower Kilmoney Road could be cut soon? Were there any further applications to the paint scheme?

Cllr Forde: Could we have an update on Pinecroft?

Area Engineer: The trees will be done as soon as possible and hopes for early next week. Works will be going on in Pinecroft which will be the first step in alleviating some of the pressure in the storm water system. There is a blockage close to the outfall. Will be starting work there early next week. Once the blockage is cleared we will have further scope to do more investigation in the surface water line. Weather is against us in the grasscutting. The fence will be dealt with as part of the storm water works. The graffiti will be dealt with this week or next week.

MDO: One or two people did make contact with regard to the paint scheme. Doesn’t know if there were any submissions.

Minutes were proposed and seconded.


2.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations:

  • Local Area Plan Review Briefing on the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District Preliminary Consultation Document

Padraig Moore (Planning Policy Unit):

  • Planning policy unit is working on consultation documents. They are not finalised yet. They will be ready to go to preliminary public consultation on 14th
  • We will need to adjust growth targets for Ballinora and Waterfall because there is not adequate water infrastructure for what is planned.

Went through presentation: BCMD LAP Briefing

Cllr Forde: Thanks officials. Sending this it out for public consultation between December and January is somewhat pointless. All the areas have their own particular issues. Current proposals for upgrade of N28 need to be taken into account. The planning policy unit should see what the outcome of this public consultation is. These proposed changes will affect over 20,000 people on a daily basis.

Town centre vacancy in Douglas is a big problem. We need a strategic plan for it. There is no one person who is charged with pushing the agenda to fill vacancies in urban areas. This is vital. These reviews of LAPs are too far apart to have a meaningful impact on these issues at local level. Suggests MDO should have a role here in this. Perhaps the economic development unit could be involved. Call these urban areas strategic development zones and give them priority.

There is no reference to dereliction in relation to house building and the supply of houses. This has to find its way into LAP discussions on housing requirements.

South City Environs – stop referring to Douglas as this. Douglas gets lost if you use this term. There is then no focus on Douglas.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Thanks officials. This outline strategy appears to be far more detailed than it was the last time the LAPs were being drafted. Knows it is a non-statutory phase of consultation but welcomes this detail.

Carrigaline is a town divided between two municipal districts. It is a crazy sitaution but the approach to including the entire town in the LAPs for both Ballincollig-Carrigaline and Bandon-Kinsale is the only sensible one.

Passage West – zoning of several areas. This should be looked at. We need to carefully consider the southern area that is proposed for development. Welcomes proposals for urban design and public realm enhancement.

Shares concerns about the N28. Never saw a public consultation like it.

The desigation of Douglas should indeed be clear. Where does Ringaskiddy fit in? It is not listed as a village. Presumes Monkstown is coming in under Passage.

Cllr Collins: These preliminary documents are more focused and detailed than they were the last time. Surprised to see consideration being given to identifying lands on what is at present a green belt.

The town centre strategy for the village of Carrigaline: we have attempted this in the past. Lands to the west are on a flood plain. This has come against us in the past. So we must look carefully at the flood studies.

Cllr D’Alton: There is much to contribute for each settlement and will make these comments in a submission. But would like the LAP review to take cognisance of several overarching points.

Wants there to be a focus on dereliction throughout the LAPs. There is dereliction in all the urban centres. Needs to be coupled with infill development.

Wants there to be a focus on green modes of transport between all urban centres but in particular between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy. Ironic that the briefing document mentions the need for more sustainable transport between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy several times but when one asks Bus Eireann for a bus link between the two towns, we are told there is no demand.

Traffic congestion is massive in this municipal district. Wants there to be a focus in the LAP on how this congestion might be best managed and relieved. Agree with the former comments on the N28.

Wants the green belt to be regarded as sacrosanct. This is a very built up municipal district with massive population. The green belt is the only place where people can breathe.

Agrees with Cllr Forde about vacancy in Douglas but this is relevant to many of the urban centres. Wants LAP to have an over-arching strategy on vacancy which can then be implemented in each of the urban centres.

Wants clear aims for the Tramore Valley Park. We have a regional park in Ballincollig which serves an immediate population of 20,000 people. But between Douglas, Carrigaline, Togher, etc. we have a population of well more than that in the immediate vicinity of the Tramore Valley Park. It needs to be another regional park for the south side of this municipal district.

Finally, appreciates the LAP is a plan and appreciates that a lot of work goes into its preparation. But it needs to move from plan to reality. Reads some passages relating to Passage West from the 2011 LAP. All the same points we are talking about now are in the 2011 LAP but haven’t been implemented. Not a criticism but we need to make more of an effort in this LAP towards implementation.

Padraig Moore:  There may be a requirement for additional residential land in Carrigaline. We’re just putting it out there. We’ve done no analysis yet. There may not be any such requirement.

Cllr Collins: There was a farm sold last year which had been idle for the last few years. Was bought by a builder. Could provide 2,500 houses if it were developed. We already have the area at Shannonpark designated for development. My understanding was that Shannonpark would be sufficient. The idea of providing additional lands would put unbearable pressure on existing inadequate infrastructure. You will no doubt get submissions from owners of this land.

PM:  The flooding situation hasn’t changed. The town centre of Carrigaline is badly affected by flooding. We’ll see what the new flood data says. There are still lands and opportunity sites outside the area at risk of flooding.

Agrees dereliction is an important consideration. Agrees it is in every town centre.

It is a policy to consider green modes of travel everywhere. This is a national policy but trying to implement it across the board is more difficult.

Agrees that traffic congestion is a signficant issue. We’ll have to see what we can do. The LAP will be sent for consultation to the statutory bodies and hopefully they will have something to say about this.

Notes comments on the green belt. Will be getting submissions from all sides on this.

Agrees about Tramore Valley Park. Most of it is in the City! Acknowleges that the Vernon Mount side is in the county. Accessing Council lands of the park is an issue that could be examined.

Notes the request to move away from flowery language of the former plans.

Cllr D’Alton: Not the language that is the problem. It is the fact that the aims are all there but they never go past being a plan. If we could somehow put more emphasis on ways by which these aims could be implemented. We elected reps will help in whatever way we can.

Cllr Canty: There is a castle on the south side of Ballincollig town. It was previously agreed that 8 hectares around it would be sacrosanct. This was a commitment. Knows a lot of developers have been looking at it. Please retain these 8 hectares. They are sacrosanct to Ballincollig. In the town centre, knows the two derelict sites PM is speaking about. Both sites are ripe for development.

Chair: Employment/business/industry in Ballincollig. Please identify lands in Ovens to which you refer. Traffic and transport is also a concern. Agrees with Cllr D’Altojn about plans not always becomign a reality. There was a planned greenway through Ballincollig at one point. It hasn’t succeeded. We need to marry the old objectives with the new proposed here. Believes the NTA will be carrying out a survey on traffic/transport in Ballincollig. This could be incorporated into the new LAP and in this way, the old could be married with the new.

There is talk locally about a community centre. Educational facilities are inadequate. Colaiste Cholm is bursting at the seams. It is the second largest secondary school in the country.

PM:  The castle is within the X01 site and this will be subject to a framework masterplan which will feed into the LAP. Comments about needing to protect the castle will be incorporated into this.

Lands in Ovens will be identified on a map in the document.

The impact of traffic and transportation will be a key component of assessment of the X0 site. Consultants are being appointed to look at this.

Understands that a community hall is a key consideration. Will be looking forward to submissions on that. Similarly education facilities. We just want to propose things and encourage people to respond. We would hope the Department will come back and respond with the need for facilities too. The Department of Education is actually quite good as a statutory consultee.

Ross Palmer (Planning Policy Unit):  We are doing the Masterplan for the X01 site which includes the castle. Part of the Masterplan will include a regional model working with Peter O’Donoghue (Transportation Section). We are writing a terms of reference for slotting these masterplans into a regional model. We want to understand the traffic problems that wil be generated from these land uses that have a masterplan focus.


  • Update on the Local Economic Community Plan (LECP) development process

Pio Condon (Planning Policy Unit):

  • We will be presenting a draft of the LECP for consideration early in the new year. There will be another public consultation again.
  • The LECP project came from guidelines that were issued by government in January. These arose from the Local Government Reform Act. These ask local authorities to coordinate the delivery of public policy at local level. Cork County Council finds itself in a multi-disciplinary partnership. Cork County Council is to give leadership. The Action Plan for Jobs had 255 actions but this is one small subset of this plan.
  • We produced a background document to ask people what mattered to them. We asked members of the public, economic experts and stakeholders, community groups. Sent out >1200 invitations to consult. Undertook a quality of life survey. We don’t want the plan to be a literature review of existing plans. We want it to be a Cork narrative about what matters with respect to Cork and the direction we think we would like Cork to go.
  • We want to give the voice to the people – the people that know best.
  • From our consultation, 92% of people from Cork think Cork is great.
  • Cork residents are very happy with what Cork has to offer as regards quality of life. There are obviously marginalised groups within that but the bigger picture is that Cork is doing well socially and economically. We don’t have comparable surveys to look at nationally but we would say that it is very good.
  • But there are significant economic and social challenges to that quality of life coming down the line. We want to identify what these potential challenges are. So we need to debate population, income levels, the type of employemnt we attract, age dependency, infrastructure (physical and socia), family, community, health. We find ourselves in a very interesting space.
  • As an organisation working with other organisations and public agencies, we want to align their focus around what we as an authority represent. We hope to present these findings and perhaps additional areas of focus, e.g. family, community, etc. and ask those questions.
  • The Plan does distill down to one page – a list of priorities for the people. What matters to you economically, socially and personally? We then try to align the organisations that deliver these things to what matters to you.

Cllr Collins: Pity this didn’t happen much longer ago. Great to see other organisations engaging. Great for people to see that we are taking the lead in what matters to people.

Cllr Forde: Was at a meeting of the committee of the regions recently. There was a distinct concern at EU level that there will be so many people over 65 in our population. Our demographics are changing totally. The local enterprise office was offering training for >65’s. Thinks we could adapt that to this plan at Cork County Council level.

PC: We are preparing this LECP in the absence of a national planning framework. So this is a great opportunity for Cork to have the conversation regionally first and use the results of this conversation to influence national developments.

Demographics are incredibly important economically. The reason perhaps that we felt such a bang from the boom is that we had a younger population relative to the rest of Europe. Whatever money came in we didn’t sepnd it all on services, whereas other economies did, which in turn serviced the rest of society.


  • Report on Tenders received to operate Douglas Pay Parking system

MDO: One tender was received. This was analysed. There was one query which has now been responded to. The contract is not awarded yet. Should be resolved in the next couple of weeks.

Cllr McGrath: Raised a query before about reducing the number of parking warden hours. There is no need for 60 hours of parking warden time. Have we flexibility on this? Raised this at the budget meeting and the CE indicated that he would take the point on board.

MDO: The number of hours is being looked at. Have circulated a briefing on the parking arrangements for Christmas. Will do similar arrangements this year to those of last year.

Douglas parking for Christmas

Cllr Desmond: The signs that are on the machines are tiny. Can we get better signage on the machines?

MDO: Agrees that bigger signs will be purchased.


3.  Casual Trading draft Bye-Laws:

South Cork Manager: Members looked for another month to consider this after the last meeting. This will be a schedule of potential casual trading areas put out for public consultation. It doesn’t meant that they will be the fiinal areas.

MDO: Only got one submission on the list and this related to Passage West.  Are members happy with the suggested list?

Cllr Collins: There are queries about the grant of these permits coming from the proposed use of the Owenabue car park as a casual trading area. Are they renewed every year? Who decides who gets the permits? Are they open ended, i.e. will the same space be available all the time? The walkway has had one operator for the last two years. Will this area no longer be functioning as a casual trading area? Will it allow for others to go in beside him?

Cllr McGrath (FF): We don’t know what the other municipal district is doing and that is a concern. Each side needs to be mindful of what the other is proposing. In general, has some concerns about the level of control we have in relation to the permits. Spoke before on potential chip van issues if we designate the Owenabue car park. They bring litter. Asks the Manager to describe what the role of the members is in terms of permits issued.

Manager: Permits issued depend on the number of spaces designated for casual trading. If two spaces are designated in the Owenabue car park, then only two permits will be issued. If the members’ intention is to designate spaces, it should be on the expectation that someone wants to trade there. Thinks we should not include a location if there is no current demand for trading there. On the walkway trade: envisages a single space being designated in the walkway car park. If a designation for a casual trading area is made, it should also be accompanied by a time and a day. For example, there is a market in Macroom. But market days are the only days for which the traders’ permits are issued.

Cllr D’Alton: Sent a submission about both Passage West and Ringaskiddy. Want to check that this was received. Trader on the Rochestown Road. Trades all over the city. We turn a blind eye during the summer although he is selling outside of the exempted regulations. These allow growers to sell new potatoes or berries – their own produce. But the trader was operating last week on the Rochestown Road. The Casual Trading Act allows him to operate between May and September inclusive. This is well outside of the Act. Also, we can’t grow new potatoes and berries in Ireland in November. So he is not selling his own produce either. If we can’t control this sort of activity, what is the point in Casual Trading By-laws at all?

Manager: This sort of sale goes on all during the summer. We havne’t the resources to come down the heavy on these sellers. But when we introduce the Casual Trading By-Laws, it will allow us to control sellers that operate outside of the law.

Cllr Canty: We have similar problems in Ballincollig with someone who has been trading in the same car parking spot for the past 20 years. We have a country market also coming on to the plaza of the shopping centre. This trader sells fish also and now the traders say the fish smell is coming through the doors of their shops. Thinks this will be an issue.

Manager: If there is no objection to someone trading for 20 years in Ballincollig without the benefit of a licence, then it should be done with the benefit of a licence. Recommends that this space the trader uses would be designated with certain hours. If members think this is not the appropriate place, then suggest somewhere else.

Cllr Collins: Thinks there may be no demand in Carrigaline for trading spots. The only time a trader has come into the main street is a chipper van after New Year. Leaves a load of rubbish. Has no trouble with the coffee dock that is operating on the walkway.

Manager: Don’t designate any casual trading area in Carrigaline if that is what you think is right.

MDO: Licences are issued annually. The municipal district has to be tax-compliant, etc. We have to report to Revenue annually on casual trading licences.

Cllr McGrath (FF): We need to hear back from the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District. If they include the circus field, we do not need to include the Owenabue Car Park. But if they don’t, then we might. If there is a Christmas market proposed and we have onlytwo spaces designated, is there a one-off provision for special events? What about the regular Lions Club car boot sale in the circus field. Will this be affected?

Manager: Yes. Permits can be issued on a one-off basis for special events. Not sure that casual trading includes car boot sales. Doesn’t think the casual trading would hinder car boot sales.

Cllr Canty: But traders come down and join in car boot sales.

Manager: Thinks that we should go to consultation with what we have. This will be published as a countywide draft bye-law with schedules for each municipal district. So all the municipal district designations will all be published together.

Agreed that we go ahead with publication of the draft by-law on this basis.


4.  General Municipal Allocation/Town Development Fund

MDO: There are some funds remaining that were not allocated. Any funds remaining will go to the Area Office for footpath works, etc.


5.  Disposal of Property
To consider the Grant of Wayleave at Bramble Hill, Castletreasure, Co Cork to Century Point Estates Ltd for the consideration of €2,500 plus Council’s legal costs.

There were no problems with this.


6.  Chun na Ruin so leanas ón gComhairleoir a mheas:
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:  

Cllr. J Harris
1.  “That a light be put up outside Douglas Hall AFC pitch in Moneygourney. The entrance is very busy and it’s pitch black at night.

2.  “That a zebra crossing be put in place between Tesco and Douglas community park. Huge volume of pedestrians use this area to cross the road, also that the Bollards be replaced as a matter of urgency.”

3.  “That Galways lane be added to cleaning roster in Douglas”.

 Response to Harris’s motions

Cllr Harris not present.


Cllr. MR Desmond:

Response to Desmond’s motions

1.  “In respect of the recently announced Carr’s Hill Interchange proposal, that Cork County Council calls on Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to hold a town hall style public meeting in addition to the public briefing they have planned. This is necessary to allow residents and commuters affected by the M28 proposal a fair opportunity to voice their concerns. Also that Cork County Council seek an extension of the TII’s initial feedback submission deadline of the 20th November next.”

Cllr Desmond: This is the biggest infrastructural issue that will hit our municipal district. A huge number of people attended the pubic consultation last Monday. All members of council staff and staff from the Roads Design Office were under pressure. There was Intense questioning from the public. Unfortunately to an extent, the consultation has probably raised more concerns than it has answered them. This is a quality of life issue. Pio was speaking about priorities for the people. This is the ultimate example. We have allowed these people to set up their homes and now this proposal completely ignores them. Maryborough Ridge residents have access to a motorway through their park. Newlyn Vale residents will have a motorway on top of them. And there is the issue of the closure of the two slip roads. Many of the questions posed by residents could not be answered. Many could not be answered sufficiently. There was a clear lack of thinking with regard to knock-on effects. The residents are not objecting to the motorway being upgraded. They are aware of the needs with respect to Ringaskiddy. But the motorway is almost like the road to nowhere. It stops at the Bloomfield interchange. Traffic issues are supposed to stop there. No-one could answer questions beyond the Bloomfield interchange because the project remit ends there. The alternative routes (Clarke’s Hill) are totally inadequate. We had a Douglas LUTS briefing a month ago and just after tha, the N28 announcements were made. I asked whether they would have an impact on the Douglas LUTS plans. I was told that they would have no impact. They will. They will have a major impact on Douglas infrastructure. Is fearful that the TII will hide behind the route selection and planning process. Believes that residents are entitled to have a town hall style meeting. Thinks TII should at least be meeting councillors. The residents have formed a steering group. They are being constructive but they are being told that no changes are possible.

The residents are looking for flexibility. Can the motorway stop sooner? This is what is done in Dublin. There needs to be thought given to this. The TII did not anticipate this reaction.


Cllr McGrath’s motion (taken out of sequence):
“This Committee requests that the National Roads Design Office and TII revisit the design proposals for the Carr’s Hill Interchange as part of the M28 project and provide for the retention of the Mount Oval off ramp and Maryborough Hill on ramp. Also, that the Public Consultation period be extended and that Officials from the TII and National Roads Office attend a meeting of this Municipal District.”

Cllr McGrath: Won’t repeat everything Cllr Desmond has said. Was never at a consultation at which so many people came through. Motion asks that the plan be revisited. We all agree with that. We need some feedback from the officials on the consultation last Monday. This hasn’t been handled well from the outset. They weren’t even holding that public information session when they came to our Development meeting. Welcomes that the deadline is being extended.

Thinks it is not acceptable that the NRDO won’t come back into us here again. That is unacceptable. We don’t know any more than the residents but we are getting queries every day. Hopes they are going to look at a resdesign but we don’t know.

Cllr Forde: Understands that the NRDO will collate all submissions and will come back to us. Understands also that a meeting has been requested for the Steering Committee and is sure that the public representatives will be invited to that.

Agreed we would formally ask TII to come to the Chamber to talk to us.

(4 members in Chamber at this stage)


 Cllr. D Forde:
1.  “That the relevant engineer gives a written report and update and timeline completion on the section of ground on Maryborough Hill just above the Paddocks.”

Response to Forde’s motion

Cllr Forde: Thanks the executive for the response.


Cllr. S McGrath:

Response to McGrath’s motion

1.  “This Committee requests that the National Roads Design Office and TII revisit the design proposals for the Carr’s Hill Interchange as part of the M28 project and provide for the retention of the Mount Oval off ramp and Maryborough Hill on ramp. Also, that the Public Consultation period be extended and that Officials from the TII and National Roads Office attend a meeting of this Municipal District.”

Motion taken above.


2.  “To seek a written update on previous requests to provide a safe Crossing on Maryborough Hill at the location of the Broadale Bus stop.”
Cllr McGrath: This is a busy road and busy bus-stop. This motion was raised primarily for safety reasons. Other public representatives have raised it in the past. If there is no money there now, how do we get it? In light of the N28 discussions, the residents could do with a goodwill gesture towards improving safety on the hill.

Area Engineer: There is no available funding that could be put aside for that scheme. Is not aware of any specific issues that would say it is dangerous as we speak. If there are such issues, mention them because they would add more weight to the request. Are people looking for a controlled crossing with lights? Advice generally is to go away from the zebra crossing approach but it costs €40 – €50k for crossing with lights. You have a situation where in the immediate future the Maryborough Ridge estate will be finished and opened. In terms of an interim measure until that time comes, what is in place is the most cost-effective one can do. Understands that negotiations have been going on between the developer and the Council with regard to Maryborough Ridge.

Wants more information on specifically what the concern is. This is a narrow road. It is sufficiently well lit. We might be able to do short-term measures around road markings, signage, etc.

Cllr McGrath: Will try to get more feedback. Residents speak about risks to children crossing in the morning. Understands that Maryborough Ridge’s advancing is an issue. It would be helpful if we could relay this conversation to the parties negotiating with the developers.


3.  “To ask the Public Lighting Section to consider a scheme on the R610 between Hop Island and Passage West in the Public Lighting Programme for 2016.”

Cllr McGrath: This request has come from some residents. They believe that lighting the road would increase its safety. Appreciate it is a long stretch of lights but we must start somewhere.

Cllr D’Alton: This is an issue that was raised several times at Town Council level over the years. If the road is lit from Hop Island, the lights must be paid for. The only way to pay for the lights is to open up the land for development. This is green belt and if Passage West is to stay a discrete town, then the green belt must not be developed. So the conclusion at Town Council level was always that this stretch should not be lit. But there is a real need to light from Eurospar to Roberts Bridge. Made a submission to the 2015 public lighting allocations on this but there were other priorities. The walkway is lit and the town is lit but there is a very dark, very dangerous stretch in between. If we could agree to prioritise lighting this stretch out of the 2016 public lighting allocations, it would be of major benefit to safety for the people of Passage West.

Cllr McGrath: Doesn’t necessarily agree that the lighting must have development alongside it to justify it but agrees to prioritise the Eurospar to Robert’s Bridge stretch for lighting next year.



Cllr. D O’Donnabhain:
That this Municipal District is extremely concerned at the recent Bord Pleanala decision concerning the Science and Technology Park situated at Curraheen. Given the importance of this park for future development in the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District, that this meeting:

  1. “Requests a report from the planning department of Cork County Council on the Science and Technology Park. Such Report to set out the entry criteria and requirements and processes to enable a prospective company set up in the park. Such Report should also include comment on whether the location of the Global HQ for Tyco, located in Cork City, would qualify for entry to the Park.”
  2. “Has Cork County Council carried out any liaison or research with IDA Ireland as which of their job announcements over the last 24 months would have satisfied the entry criteria.”
  3. “That this Municipal District would invite the head of the Science and Technology park to address this municipal District on the workings of such a park.” 

Chair: The key thrust here is in relation to employment. City Gate in Mahon and 1 Albert Quay in town are major employment generators. A site in Wilton has now been redesignated in the same way. The Science and Technology Park is the largest site designated for this purpose in the county and it hasn’t developed in terms of bricks and mortar. Particularly contrasts with the city area. It is not a competition. It is a like for like. But enterprises in the city’s areas appear to be going ahead.

Would like someone from the Science and Technology Park in Belfast to come and talk to us.

Cllr Forde: Supports. It is a genuine concern of all of ours that there would be some action on this site.

Cllr McGrath: Also supports. Had a motion about this at full Council recently. This is a project that has huge potential but seems to be somewhat stuck at present.

Pio Condon: A Masterplan was done for the lands. It was informed by best practice across Europe. When the Masterplan was complete, it was presented to Council for consideration and agreement. That was 2012. Immediately following that, the Council set about designing the infrastructure to deliver the park and Masterplan. In 2013, the water services were connected up. We have consent for the infrastructure from An Bord Pleanala as from the beginning of this year. An Bord Pleanala was very supportive of the Masterplan approach and these documents are on public record.

Cork County Council got partial funding from the Department of Transport for the design of the roads infrastructure. There were also letters of support from the key public bodies delivering infrastructure.

An application was lodged towards end of 2014. It was refused by Cork County Council and An Bord Pleanala. The primary rationale was that the application/quantum of development applied for was in excess of the allocation for that portion of lands. The non-compliance of that application with the Masterplan was why it was refused. Understands that another application from a 3rd party is to be lodged in the coming weeks. Can see no reason why it will not be approved. Can see no reason why the previous application would not get approval if it complies with the Masterplan.

Phase 1 of the Masterplan identifies for the southern portion of the site (22,000 m2) which can be tapped into., This has road access.

From 2010 when the Advisory Board was established, to now. We have been successful in every step along the way. There is no barrier to development commencing.

(I had to go out for a minute.)

The An Bord Pleanala Inspector’s Report clarified that the floorspace development of the refused application exceeded the Masterplan.  Not sure if there was a quantum of development or a use issue at stake but it was certainly one or the other.

Cllr Desmond: Are we sure the NRA won’t throw a spanner in the works? They did before.

Cllr Forde: Agreed. Can’t understand how when there are high-level pre-planning talks going on up until the last minute and then the NRA’s issues come up and throw a spanner in the works.

PC: We spoke to a number of potential tenants in the preparation of the Masterplan and this project was conceived with those conversations in mind. We spoke to significant international players with regard to what they needed to operate here. They said they wanted what we were designing and preparing.


Cllr. M D’Alton:

Response to D’Alton’s motions

1.  “That the NRA would undertake a representative survey of pedestrian movements at the uncontrolled crossing at Ringaskiddy adjacent to the new playground in accordance with the advice outlined in its Pedestrian Crossing Specification and Guidance and with a view to providing a signalised pedestrian crossing at this location. That this survey would be conducted at a representative time of the year and that it would take cognisance of the particularly vulnerable nature of the profile of pedestrians using the playground facility. That the NRA would take particular note of guidance from the National Transport Authority/Department of Transport which encourages justification for pedestrian facilities to be considered more in terms of the needs of pedestrians than in always maximising traffic flows.”

Cllr D’Alton: Raised a motion at the July meeting asking that the NRA would install a pelican crossing at the uncontrolled crossing adjacent to the playground in Ringaskiddy. The response – don’t know who it was from because it wasn’t on headed paper – said that they had done a survey which showed that the pedestrian crossing volumes didn’t and don’t warrant a controlled crossing.

Because there are procedures for taking these decisions and these had not been described to us, in October, I raised another motion to ask the details of these procedures. The response to the October motion said that the survey was undertaken BEFORE the playground went in. What good is this when the purpose of the pedestrian crossing is to serve the playground?

This time, the motion was to ask the NRA to carry out a survey during the summer so that they can really get a handle on the number of children crossing to use the playground. Glad to see from the response that they have agreed to do so. But thinks it is particularly sad that we have to go to these lengths to get a pedestrian crossing on an uncontrolled crossing already ducted for lights, to serve a playground on a national road through a village in one of the biggest industrial estates in the country. We’re supposed to be serving the public here. This is really sad.

Cllr Forde: Agrees.

Cllr McGrath: Also agrees. When the traffic calming was being installed, we asked for lights at this uncontrolled crossing. We were told no because it was a national road. But then a few months later they proposed lights at Shanbally and Shannonpark. So they are quite willing to put lights on national roads to suit their own purposes.


2.  “That Cork County Council, Cork City Council and the National Transport Authority would give consideration to designing the N40 overbridge as a green crossing which would permit pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife alike to cross the N40 in safety.”

Cllr D’Alton: Thanks the executive for notifying us of the commencement of preliminary investigations for the overpass over the N40. We are talking about the Tramore Valley Park and the overpass being a landmark development and this is an ideal opportunity to consider provision of a green bridge.

A green bridge is a wildlife crossing. (Passes around some photographs of green bridges worldwide. Green bridges images) It is intended to help animals and other biodiversity to cross buy transport routes. Human transportation routes, especially roads, fragment habitats. A green bridge is the most successful way of:

  • creating safe crossing points for wildlife movement
  • joining up habitats and colonies
  • creating a crossing point for people
  • benefiting bees and other pollinators
  • integrating human transportation features into the surrounding landscape.

There are all sorts of different wildlife crossings. But we are building a pedestrian and cycle link bridge over the N40 and that which is recommended most strongly for this purpose is a multi-use overpass.

Multi-use overpasses are designed for mixed wildlife-human use. They are generally the smallest of the wildlife overpasses, they are best suited to human disturbed environments and they best benefit species which are adapted to human activity and disturbance. If they are designed to look like part of the landscape, they really work for invertebrates (spiders, beetles), small animals and big animals.

Natural England, the nature conservation agency of the British government, has recently completed a collation of scientific and cost evidence from 56 examples of green bridges across the world. Their work found that green bridges could be an important part of the sustainability of future transport projects.

The UK doesn’t have many green bridges. The two that are best well known are the one over the A21 at Scotney Castle in Kent and the 25 mile wide Mile End green bridge built in London which spans five lanes of the A11. In the Mile End bridge, rainwater runs off the bridge into tanks on either side and is then recycled to maintain the water content of the soil.

Green bridges are far more widely used in Europe. In the Netherlands, where they were first conceived, 48 eco-crossings are either built or planned since 1988. One of the earliest ecoducts was the Terlet overpass which is planted with trees. Within six years three species of deer were recorded using it, along with wild boar, red fox, badger, wood mice, common shrew and common vole.

Sweden, Switzerland

There are plenty more examples of green bridges in the US and Canada.

We have a landmark project in the Tramore Valley Park. Not just here but generally, we need to start thinking outside the box in terms of our engineering. Green engineering supports a massive range of different EU and nationally driven policies. The EU has a document specifically supporting the concept and application of green engineering. We need to start thinking outside the box in terms of traditional engineering. Appreciate the response but noting that wildlife will be “considered” in the course of the design is just not good enough. Wants this Municipal District to send a message to RPS as consultants and to the agencies that are supporting them in this work that they must seriously consider designing this overpass as a green bridge.

Support given for this.


7.  Votes of Congratulations

Cllr Desmond: Congratulations to NEMO


8.  Any Other Business

Chair: Received a letter addressed to another councillor. Veiled threats were contained in this letter. It was written in a personal capacity. It included copy of extracts from newspapers. It referred to aspects of debate raised in consideration of planning permission defects on the ground and the way in which these should be addressed. To receive a letter from a person referring to the use of slander and defamation and not to set out the case properly nor to follow it on with legal correspondence …

Doesn’t know much about this company – O’Brien & O’Flynn – and doesn’t know how a company may feel itself slandered but if residents have raised a concern with reps and those reps seek to raise the issue in the Chamber, that is their right.

Takes the content of the letter really seriously and thinks it goes to the heart of the democracy we try to represent every day. These are bully boy tactics in the extreme.

Feel very strongly about this and regrets that the press is no longer present.

MDO: An issue was brought to our attention in relation to parking by-laws in Ballincollig. When they were adopted at the time, they incorporated fines. An SI was adopted then. We were asked whether one could legally challenge these. The 3 hour parking limit in the long-stay car parks isn’t being enforced and this is becoming a problem for the traders.

We proposed to bring the parking times in line with the Douglas hours in a new by-law. We will have these drafted tomorrow, will circulate them to members and will advertise them on Friday. That will give a public submission date up to the start of January. Will allow discussion at the next municipal district meeting and we will then be able to implement them by February.

Cllr D’Alton: Tom Fahy Park in Passage West was recently redesigned by the County Council. It is surrounded by box planters. The specification on the drawing was that these were to be filled with good quality soil. I have a sample of good quality soil here and a sample of the soil that was put into the planters. Nothing could grow in this. We get this time and time again when the County Council gets contractors to do landscaping works and it takes months and months of amendment and replacement before we can plant anything in it. The County Council decided not to plant Tom Fahy Park, although the planting was part of the specifications. It decided to leave it to the Tidy Towns in Passage West. We have 6 people out on a good day and there is just no way we can cope with removing all this soil, replacing it with something that plants can grow in and then planting it up. We had said we would like to plant Fr. O’Flynn Park because we have existing planting in it and we want to match the new plants to that. But we can’t improve on the planting that was proposed for Tom Fahy Park.

MDO: Only issue with Tom Fahy Park was that the two downlighters were vandalised.

Cllr D’Alton: Not condoning vandalism, but those lights were not in the drawings that we discussed and they were totally unsuited to the application. They were only thin light metal.

MDO: We hadn’t decided on the style of light. We had said that the steps must be lit.

Cllr D’Alton: That is true. But the uplighters to the tree were removed from the final drawing that we did not see also. But this soil that was put in is nothing we can plant in. It is not good quality as the specifications required.

Area Engineer: There must have been a misunderstanding. We will remove the soil and get it replaced with good quality soil. We will talk to the architects about doing the planting in the park.

Cllr McGrath: Had a motion about traffic calming measures on the Ballinrea Road. Has a speed survey been done as part of the Ballinrea campus application? Would the Area Office do it if it hasn’t been done to date?

Also the sound barrier on the N40. Can we communicate with TII that the proposals they put forward were not satisfactory from the residents’ point of view.

Area Engineer: Is not sure that a speed survey was done as part of the planning application.

MDO:   Wrote to TII and attached copies of some of the emails which were received. Asked them if they would revert but they have not to date. We will follow up again.

Cllr McGrath: Dereliction in the convent in Passage West. The Council spent funding on that in the past. Are we going to recoup that money from the new owner?

MDO: Yes. We will be looking to recoup our costs. We don’t know if the proposed acquisition will be subject to planning.

Cllr Murphy: Cllr O’Laoghaire sends his apologies for not being present. Thanks for the signs for Marmullane Park. Wonders if we could we get a sign saying no dogs only guide dogs. Asked for update on Pinecroft.

MDO: We have such signs in cemetries because this restriction is covered under the cemeteries byelaws.   We cannot apply the same restrictions in public parks.

Area Engineer updated on Pinecroft again.


This concluded the meeting.


My submission to the Shannonpark Masterplan

Senior Planner,
Planning Policy Unit,
Cork County Council,
Floor 13,
County Hall,

8th November 2015.


RE: Proposed Amendments to the Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan – Shannonpark Framework Masterplan



In respect of Proposed Amendment No. 4 to the Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan which is to give effect to the Shannonpark Framework Masterplan, I appreciate the opportunity to make the following observations:

  • There is a significant housing need both nationally and in County Cork. I recognise that Cork County Council has earmarked these lands at Shannonpark for a significant housing development to respond to that need.
  • It would be a grave injustice to the future Shannonpark community if the quality of standards of housing quality or environment were to be in any way compromised in an attempt to respond to the urgency of this housing need.
  • Although Shannonpark is legitimately regarded as situate on the outskirts of Carrigaline, existing poor road infrastructure and resultant significant traffic congestion will in reality distance the Shannonpark community from Carrigaline town centre. It is recognised that the recommendations of the Carrigaline Area Traffic and Transportation Plan are to improve that infrastructure. However, again reality is that this plan was drafted eight years ago. The road network between Shannonpark and Carrigaline has seen little real improvement in that time, whilst the volume of traffic using it has significantly increased.
  • Bearing this infrastructural deficit in mind, it is vital that the new community being planned for Shannonpark in this Framework Masterplan would incorporate a range of housing types: from bigger homes for larger families to small one-bedroom bungalows for the older resident. The proposed neighbourhood centre concept is also welcome with a view to minimising short car trips.
  • However, despite welcoming the neighbourhood centre concept, this Framework Masterplan must not lose sight of the CASP Update 2008 aims for Carrigaline as outlined in the Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan. It clearly states that the focus for Carrigaline is consolidation of the town centre. The Framework Masterplan outlines an aim for 1,000 additional houses on the outskirts of Carrigaline town and does not contribute in any real way to this aim.
  • It is also fair to observe that although Paragraph 1.2.1 of the Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan clearly states the target growth for population in 2020 for Carrigaline to be 14,066, the Census of Population indicates the population of Carrigaline to have been 14,924 in 2011. So according to the latest Census, the 2020 population target for Carrigaline was already exceeded four years ago.
  • Whilst the fact that the population aims for Carrigaline appear to have already been exceeded does not negate the need for additional housing in Metropolitan Cork, it highlights the absolute urgency with which current infrastructural deficits in Carrigaline must be addressed. It is essential that the Framework Masterplan would include targeted proposals to improve infrastructural links between Shannonpark and Carrigaline town centre.   The vague intentions of Paragraph 1.4.22 of the Proposed Amendment are by no means sufficient.
  • I note Paragraph 1.4.18 of the Proposed Amendment states that the Transport Assessment on the Shannonpark lands identified that the provision of Phase 1a houses would not have a significant impact on prevailing traffic conditions. It would be good to know what the definition of “significant” in this context is. With a current westbound traffic queue of 99 vehicles at the Shannonpark roundabout and a queue of 17 vehicles southbound, it is difficult to appreciate how additional impact could be anything other than significant.
  • The Cork County Development Plan 2014 has a clear aim of supporting the principal of independence for older people. Paragraph 5.7.6 advises that the particular needs of ageing people should be incorporated into the design, housing mix and location of new housing development. I would particularly like the Framework Masterplan to have a specific aim for a purpose-designed cluster of either sheltered housing or small, single storey dwellings for the elderly. The best location for such housing would be adjacent to the neighbourhood centre. There is a real deficit of sheltered housing for the elderly in County Cork.   Shannonpark would be the ideal place to start providing for this increasingly pressing need in our society.
  • The Framework Masterplan proposes four pedestrian links between the Masterplan lands and the adjacent Heronswood estate. Whilst I recognise that Cork County Council is attempting to increase permeability and thereby reduce the need for private car use, the on-the-ground reality is that this proposal will not work. We have repeated evidence that either permitted or accidental access between estates simply creates rat-runs for anti-social behaviour. Many estates in Cork City are attempting to block off such access at significant financial cost. In the case of Shannonpark, planned linkages between the new estate and the existing Heronswood estate would simply serve to create a massive 2,000 house estate. Not merely would this facilitate anti-social behaviour, it would make parental control of smaller children very difficult. Furthermore, several of the pedestrian links suggested in the Framework Masterplan would run through front gardens of residences in Heronswood. I ask that the Framework Masterplan would exclude these four proposed pedestrian links. This would be reflective of the ethos of Paragraph 3.3.1 of the County Development Plan which recognises that the creation of sustainable communities extends beyond the physical environment to “less tangible issues such as people’s perception of what constitutes an attractive and secure environment”.
  • The proposed continuation of the walkway/cycleway along the old railway line through the Masterplan lands and on through Heronswood is a policy that would want separate and careful consideration before statutory inclusion in the Masterplan. Is it fair to bring leisure cyclists and commuter cyclists through residential areas? Would this proposal increase burglaries in the residential areas by providing a quick get-away? Would this proposal increase anti-social behaviour linkages between residential areas? Such issues need serious thought. In principle, I very strongly support the continuation of the walkway/cycleway along the old railway line in all directions. However, none of our Greenway development to date has led users through existing residential housing estates.
  • I am very disappointed with the limited scale of the transport interchange proposed in the Framework Masterplan. I am also very disappointed at the public’s inability to contribute its opinion to the possible scale of this transport interchange. Astra Construction indicated at its public information session on Friday last that Cork County Council has indicated it requires 50 car parking spaces to be provided with this phase of the transport interchange.   This is very small. According to the last Census of Population, over 5,000 people travelling to school, work or college currently do so by private car. Fifty car parking spaces will provide no realistic alternative to the private car. In fact, 50 spaces is unlikely to be sufficient to even provide a realistic business opportunity to a private operator offering routes other than those offered by Bus Eireann. If the Framework Masterplan is going to advocate for a transport interchange, then let it be adequately large to give realistic indication of the feasibility of the longer-term larger facility planned for the western side of the R611.
  • I have extreme concerns about the link road which the Framework Masterplan proposes should run east-west through the Masterplan lands:

    1.  The link road will serve not just residents of the new housing but also commuters heading for Ringaskiddy who wish to short-cut tailbacks on the Shannonpark roundabout. It will therefore be used as a link road serving the N28, at least until the N28 upgrade is in place. This would potentially result in large volumes of traffic travelling through a built up area at high speed.

    2.  This nature of road would segregate the overall estate into the future.

    3.  The proposed link road would endanger users of the open green areas adjoining and pedestrians wishing to cross it. Children living on the north side of the estate will want to cross to use the neighbourhood centre. No ramps or signalised crossing points are proposed in the Framework Masterplan. Carriageway widths are relatively wide and no traffic calming details at all are specified in the Framework Masterplan.

    4.  In speaking to Astra Construction at their public information evening, the architects indicated that County Council traffic calming for this link road is to comprise consideration of camber and a hedge between both carriageways. This will NOT work as a traffic calming measure. In fact, if a hedge is planted between the two carriageways it runs the risk of increasing rather than decreasing danger to crossing children.

    5.  This link road should benefit the residents of the estate rather than serve as a relief road for others.

    6.  This proposed road would link the R611 and the Fernhill Road. The Framework Masterplan acknowledges that the Fernhill Road needs upgrading. But in reality, Ballyhemiken Bridge on the Rock Road is listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage as being of regional importance. It would be destroyed if it were to be widened and so it will never safely accommodate more than one lane of traffic. We need to be cognizant of how much traffic it is safe to deliberately lead onto the Fernhill Road because of the restriction at Ballyhemiken Bridge.

  • I ask that the Framework Masterplan would require ramps for traffic calming throughout the proposed Shannonpark residential development.
  • Two high voltage lines currently run through the Masterplan lands. Hundreds of international studies have proven that proximity to the electromagnetic fields from high voltage lines can interfere with sleep cycles, increase stress levels, damage your immune system and cause a range of cancers and other health problems:

    Children living within 650 feet of power lines had a 70% greater risk for leukemia than children living 2,000 feet away or more.  (British Medical Journal, June 2005)

    Several studies have identified occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields as a potential risk factor for neurodegenerative disease.  (Epidemiology, July 14 (4), 2003)

    There is strong prospective evidence that prenatal maximum magnetic field exposure above a certain level may be associated with miscarriage risk.  (Epidemiology, Jan 13 (1), 2002)

    In a study of 850 lymphoma, leukemia and related conditions, researchers from the University of Tasmania and Britain’s Bristol University found that living for a prolonged period near high-voltage power lines increased the risk for these conditions later in life.  (Internal Medicine Journal, 2007)

    Electromagnetic fields are responsible for an increase in childhood leukemia, adult brain cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease and miscarriage.  (California Department of Health, 2002)

  • Paragraph 10.2.1 of the Strategic Environmental Assessment mentions the high voltage lines that run east to west across the Masterplan lands. But the Framework Masterplan does not mention their existence even once, nor the need to move them if the lands at Shannonpark are to be developed for residential purposes. This is despite the fact that Paragraph 1.4.11 of the Framework Masterplan specifically states that the “results from the SEA process were fully considered and integrated into the preparation of the Masterplan”. Concerns about the high voltage lines were NOT included in the Framework Masterplan. The need to move these high voltage lines is absolutely essential for protection of human health and needs to be thus stated in the Framework Masterplan.
  • At the Astra Construction public information evening, the proposed site layout drawings showed the lower of the two high voltage lines running roughly along the east-west link road, with the larger high voltage line relocated to run in the rough ground between the Masterplan lands and the M28. Yet at several points that larger high voltage line, even though relocated, runs along the back garden of houses in the north west corner of Phase 1 of the Masterplan. This is unacceptably close to these houses. Minimum distances for human health between the high voltage lines and residential homes need to be specified in the Framework Masterplan.
  • House at the northern end of the Masterplan site would be those closest to the new M28. These will be susceptible to heavy traffic both visually and audially. It is essential that the Framework Masterplan would incorporate an aim towards mitigating against overlooking and traffic noise for people living in these houses.

Yours faithfully,

Marcia D’Alton
Independent Member, Cork County Council