Cork County Council released the following statement on the burning of Vernon Mount at our full Council meeting this morning:
1. Election of Cathaoirleach/Election of Leas Cathaoirleach
Cllr Canty proposed for Cathaoirleach by Cllr Forde, seconded by Cllr D’Alton.
Cllr Jeffers proposed for Leas-Cathaoirleach by Cllr Murphy and seconded as vice-Chair by Cllr D’Alton.
2. Deimhniú Miontuairiscí/Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 20th June 2016.
Minutes of meeting were proposed and seconded.
Cllr McGrath: Ferney Road – didn’t get a report arising from the last meeting? Also Marmullane bend on Church Hill – is there feedback on that?
Area Engineer (AE): Doesn’t have a written report in relation to Ferney Road; will send one out tomorrow. This time of the year is very busy and resources are thin on the ground. The Marmullane bend will be done just not immediately. Ferney Road is being done along with a few other schemes. The design is being revised – decided to take a different route that would have lesser impact on landowners. Landowners have all been consulted and networks are being examined to ensure the revised design is something that can be fitted with existing networks. Will be brought to the members once finalised and agreed in principle with the affected landowners. There is no dedicated stream of funding. Hopes the scheme will be funded in 2017.
Cllr McGrath: There is no need to come back in writing. There will be an additional school opening in September now.
AE: Yes, there is some funding coming from the second school but there will be a lot more funding required.
Cllr Desmond: Had raised the issue of the upkeep of the Chetwynd graveyard before. Any update?
AE: These complaints came in in early June. There are resident caretakers but they were probably catching up with grasscutting then. There has been an incredible amount of growth to the extent that in Chetwynd, we have had to bring in extra bodies to deal with it. Isn’t aware of any complaints since so hopes the issue sorted. Trees in Ravenscourt – can’t see that anything will be done in the short term because they are not a danger to property and not a risk to the adjacent road. Leylandii don’t lend themselves to cutting back; they die if you do.
Cllr D’Alton: For information – had proposed a motion at the last meeting about installing a handrail on the steps from the Sandquay, Monkstown to the water. Realised since that the area office is unlikely to install the handrail because the steps themselves are so dangerous. Have brought it to the Coastal Management meeting since and we will apply through them for a grant from the Department of Agriculture to do both steps and handrail in the next round of funding.
3. Consideration of Reports and Recommendations
Corinthians Park, Castletreasure
Cllr Forde: Has grave concerns in relation to the Castletreasure lands and must leave for a doctor’s appointment so would like to bring these concerns up now. The land was bought many years ago for housing. Topography made it unsuitable and it was given over for recreation and amenity. The access was to have been through Green Valley estate. Subsequently the Council gave permission for two houses over the access road. This was appalling. Then the Council suggested the amenity lands would be accessed around the estate’s green. The residents weren’t happy and all the councillors backed their concerns. We gave some land to College Corinthians who are a fantastic soccer club. Current concern is that the Douglas Rugby Club also needs land or help to source some. They approached College Corinthians to see if they could access the County Council’s ground through the College Corinthians premises but there are insurance issues. The Green Valley access was readdressed. Thought this would reopen a can of worms. There is also land a farmer is leasing for some time. Is not against College Corinthians having a parcel of land but thinks this report is premature until we have maps and all the issues on the table so we can have complete transparency before we take a decision. Douglas has very little available land. Requested a meeting on behalf of the Douglas Rugby Club but was told that there is no point because there is nothing to be offered to them. Regrets that has to leave now because has an appointment but asks that it would be deferred until we have all the information available to us.
South Cork Manager (SCM): There is no decision being taken today. There is no formal proposal. There is no formal disposal notice before the Members. We just wanted to bring before the Members that we have been approached by College Corinthians for enough land to give one extra pitch. It is not all the land. This piece of land is adjoining their existing facility and we are proposing to extend a lease to them to facilitate the pitch. The Douglas Rugby Club issue is a separate one. So today was really only an information day. But if there is agreement that the land is to be leased, that would come by a formal disposal notice. Is concerned that work on preparation of the disposal notice would not be deferred for two months. College Corinthians is anxious to move.
Cllr O’Donnabháin: Supports the proposal. Is familiar with the land. They’re a worthy club and a worthy cause.
Cllr McGrath: Confirming that it is not intended to bring it before the July full Council meeting. Do details have to be drawn up?
Cllr McGrath: Thinks Cllr Forde had different issues.
SCM circulated a location map he had of the lands proposed for leasing to College Corinthians.
Cllr D’Alton: Understanding is that Cllr Forde is very supportive of College Corinthians but was worried about the access issue to the lands behind. An email attached to the back of this map states that a planning permission subsequently granted has resolved the issue of accessing the remaining lands. If this is the case then Cllr Forde’s concerns are eliminated.
SCM: The email on the back was not meant for circulation.
Cllr D’Alton: But if it solves the access issue, then isn’t it important?
Municipal District Officer (MDO): The planning permission referenced will not solve the access problem.
Cllr Harris: The insurance issue that prohibits the Rugby Club from accessing the lands through College Corinthians is a joke. Would it not be possible to get a path through the Corinthian’s land?
Cllr McGrath: Understands that the land further back is not suitable for playing pitches. It is too sloping and would cost a fortune to develop. Spoke to Douglas Rugby Club this morning. Is not speaking on their behalf but they said they don’t have an issue with this land being given to College Corinthians. We don’t need to hold this up.
Cllr Jeffers: This mightn’t be the resolution for Douglas Rugby Club but if access to the land behind is only through College Corinthians, they more or less control the land. Has a small issue with that.
SCM: There is an issue with this land that has been unresolved for some time. If we’re to wait till the issue with this land is sorted, that will not be in our best interest nor in that of College Corinthians. The accessibility of this land cannot be solved through this process.
Cllr Canty: Proposes that we go ahead with this. If the pitches had been there and the houses came after, we would have had no problems. This is not a formal disposal.
Cllr O’Donnabháin proposes and Cllr McGrath seconds.
Glenbrook to Raffeen Greenway
Clare Cronin (CCC): A Part 8 application has been published for extension of the existing greenway from the ferry at Glenbrook to Raffeen. We’ll be coming back to discuss it as a report and recommendation. We hope to develop a greenway network all the way from Blackrock Castle to Crosshaven. This section is the first of two phases; the second will be developed in the coming months and will take us into Carrigaline itself. We are inviting submissions until the 2nd September. Part 8 proposals often attract only the negative comments but a project like this is very positive. It will bring real vibrancy and tourism opportunity as it has done in Mayo. Passage and Monkstown could become key stop-off points along the way. We will revert in late September/October with a full report. We will seek funding in autumn or year end when the Department of Transport makes a call for funding for greenways.
Users issues arising from the popularity of the existing greenway between Rochestowwn and Passage West were raised at the last meeting. The comments referred to cyclist behaviour, particularly those cycling at speed. Cyclists not ringing bells is an issue. We did bring in a new signage system last year and it is timely that we look at this again and review how well it is working. We came from a system of partial segregation on that path. It didn’t work. Cyclists travel faster when the path is segregated. Segregation also leads to territorial behaviour. Segregation needs a much wider path than we currently have so both user groups have a clear space. We would need double the width we have at present. Will monitor what is there over the coming weeks and months. There is fault on both sides – pedestrians and cyclists. Spoke of headphones and dog leads used improperly by pedestrians. So it is about learning to share the space.
Cllr D’Alton: Is delighted with this Part 8 application and appreciates that whilst there may be operational issues, it is a hugely positive project. It was I who raised user issues on the existing line at the last meeting and is very glad to hear the system will be monitored over the coming months. There is also an issue with signage in the noticeboard at the entrance points to the line. This was to have been changed to reflect the keep left pass right system that is in use at present but knows the County Council was waiting for a standard sign to be issued nationally. However, the signage has never been changed. Knows it is not part of the Part 8 but would also like the Council to bear in mind that whilst Passage West might benefit from bike stop-overs, the town is narrow and bringing a bike through it is not easy. Nor is it helped by the topography. Know we have spoken about how to do this in the past – opening the tunnel which has health and safety concerns or a boardwalk which is now not possible because the County Council doesn’t own the waterfront. But wants the Council to keep in mind how bringing bikes safely through Passage might be done into the future.
Cllr McGrath: Compliments Clare on the negotiations in particular with landowners at Raffeen. Has also raised issues with regard to shared spaces on existing walkways. Thinks we haven’t addressed these properly as a Council. There is only a tight space for the new greenway and thinks we need to carefully consider introducing bikes into that space, especially when there are ongoing issues with the existing. Thinks the stretch from Murphs pub to Raffeen Bridge will be particularly positive.
CC: Yes, we did intend to bring in new signage last year – revised Code of Conduct. That hasn’t happened because of national strategy delays. But thinks we should address it now ourselves on an interim basis. Thinks we as a Council should look at signage throughout all public spaces on a consistent basis. We need a consistent message around rules of operation, codes of conduct, etc. to reinforce user behaviour.
Passage West is particularly problematic for bringing bikes through. The difficulty is that we’re dealing with an existing environment. The initial feasibility report on this project said Passage West would never accommodate a greenway proper because of the topography and layout. So we are possibly looking at speed reductions, public realm enhancements and other such measures to make the journey through Passage West more comfortable for cyclists.
In an ideal world there is no objection to developing a wider path for the greenway than that which is proposed. But the difficulty is here is that we are retrofitting. We’re trying to achieve the best possible solution balancing all the issues.
Will try to get us copies electronically of the files associated with the Part 8 but the size of the files is an issue.
4. General Municipal Allocation/Town Development Fund
MDO: The balance remaining on allocations is €8,200. We can look in September at what we want to do with this.
Cllr McGrath: Residents in Dan Desmond Villas have said they are not so much looking for funding but for a plaque to mark the 50 year anniversary.
AE: We will have to agree some form of wording that would go on the plaque if we are going ahead with this.
5. Chun na Ruin so leanas ón gComhairleoir a mheas:
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:
1. “To request a report from the Engineer on the actions of Council in this Municipal District to address the widespread issue of Japanese Knotweed.”
Cllr McGrath: is looking for the Area Engineer to give us an update on this. Its presence is widespread in the Municipal District. Knows certain areas have been sprayed. We need to take this seriously. The plant has potential to do damage to structures and properties.
SCM: This issue has come up at full Council. It was referred to the Environment SPC and they were to come up with a separate working group on the issue. Not sure whether they have met yet or not.
Cllr O’Donnabháin: Echoes the sentiment in the motion. We have a number of signs and plaques up around our own area. Even without the signs, people are aware of it and are concerned. It is beside the riverbank at Carrigrohane. There is a fear that it will be carried by the river. There is also a fear that it will spread from Council property to private property.
AE: It is geat news that the SPC is coming up with a procedure going forward. We are dealing with it on an ad-hoc basis when it is reported to us. We will continue to deal with it as we have dealt with it to date, through our gardening section. We continue to get reports of its presence and it is unlikely that we can get to it all.
Cllr D’Alton: Is particularly heartened that since I brought it up at full Council over a year ago, the plant has become so well know. There is hardly a person who does not recognise it now. That is very positive. Confirms that a working group out of the Environment SPC has been formed to work on the issue. They will be meeting for the first time next Tuesday. Not yet sure what their remit is but believes it is to develop policy for full Council. Where the area office has sprayed, there has been good die-back. Wants to know whether those sprayed areas will be resprayed each September over three years as is recommended?
AE: Yes, believes so.
Cllr McGrath: Hopefully you can get to all the areas that are reported. It is disappointing that the working group has taken so long to get established. It is nearly 18 months since the issue was first brought to full Council by Cllr D’Alton. Is glad the Area Office has picked up the slack.
2. “To ask the Engineer to investigate a request for traffic calming measures in Fort Hill estate.”
AE: Will see what we can do.
3. “To seek an update on the provision of a Controlled Crossing near the entrance to Maryborough Woods on the Carrigaline road.”
Cllr McGrath: Poles are erected but nothing else. This is badly needed. Has become frustrated at this stage that the issue hasn’t been addressed. Was last told it was with the design office.
AE: It is still with the design office. Is equally hopeful that something will wing its way to me shortly but the design office is under real pressure. However, the bones of this scheme are there so hopes it can be advanced in late this year/early next year when the pressure of the current priority work is off.
1. “That this Municipal District would be furnished with a Report and update on the progress of road improvement works for Lehenaghmore & Lehenaghbeg. In particular this MD seeks an update on the Report being prepared by the Consultants engaged. If this Report is not completed then that this meeting would be furnished with the date on which it will be available.”
Report provided: Response to O’Donnabhain – Lehenaghbeg
Cllr O’Donnabháin: Thanks for the report. The residents will be very concerned if this scheme is not advanced before the winter months.
AE: This is one of the schemes that is being prioritised by the design office and they are concentrating their resources on this. A consultant has been applied but the resources both are financial and physical. Also wants to flag that as far as she is aware, the resources will bring it as far as Part 8 but resources will additionally have to be found to build it.
Cllr O’Donnabháin: There is additional building continuing in Coolkellure. Could special contributions from that be diverted towards the road upgrade?
AE: Is sure they can but is not sure how much can be provided nor what proportion of the overall cost they will make up. Will not know what the cost of the scheme will be until the consultant has presented a draft report.
1. “To ask the engineer of the possibility of cutting down trees at the entrance to Clifton on the Grange Road as to help with visibility of cars exiting the estate.”
Cllr Jeffers: Visibility is the issue here. The trees are on the left hand side when cars are pulling out. The issue is visibility only.
AE: We can look at the junction on the left. Has never looked at that with that in mind. It has been brought up in a slightly different context before. Would also say that those trees are loved by a lot of people along there.
Cllr McGrath: Wants to support Cllr Jeffers. Has raised issues about the entrance here before and has also spoken of a yellow box. Perhaps prune lower part of the trees?
AE agrees that this is what she would be proposing to do. Will look at it and re-evaluate.
2. “To repaint the yellow box outside Amberly estate on the Grange Road.”
Cllr Jeffers: People are pulling into the yellow box. Maybe repainting would help.
AE: It is on the list.
3. “To paint the speed bumps that have not been done in Dun Eoin in Carrigaline.”
(Apologies – Missed the response to this.)
1. “That the Members of the Municipal District would be given an update on progression of the design for the upgrade of Coach Hill.”
Report provided: Response to D’Alton – Coach Hill
Cllr D’Alton: Thanks for the report. Also had the opportunity of raising this at the Southern Committee meeting this morning. Very conscious that Coach Hill appears to be the poor relation relative to Clarke’s Hill. Yet critical connection between Upper Rochestown and Lower Rochestown. Is almost always used by cars travelling from the Passage West/Monkstown direction in favour of Clarke’s Hill. Surface of the road at the pinch point is all broken – indicative of the volume of traffic the road is taking. Appreciates that no funding to put the upgrade in place but asks that even if this remains the case, the area office would be conscious of measures that could be implemented to improve safety. The pinch point can accommodate only one lane of traffic yet pedestrians living downstream of the pinch point have no footpath. If there isn’t money for the upgrade, it would seem to make sense to put a footpath along the pinch point so that at least children could walk to school safely and confirm that only one lane of traffic at a time can use the pinch point. Thanks area office for having agreed to resurface the Coach Hill pinch point when Clarke’s Hill is being resurfaced.
2. “That this Municipal District would fund the production of a map of Passage West Historic Town similar to that which Cork County Council has produced for Kinsale and is currently producing for several other towns in the county.”
Cllr D’Alton: The Historic Monuments committee is conscious that there are many items of archaeological heritage, particularly in our towns, that are uninterpreted and uncelebrated. To increase awareness, it has produced a very attractive map of these features for Kinsale, it is working on Skibbereen and is going to do Blarney and Mitchelstown next. The maps are very good quality. €800 to produce. They are left in shops in the town for visitors to take and use. Proposals to do them are coming through the Municipal District committees. Asks that this Municipal District committee would agree to request that a map for Passage West would be the next to be put on the list.
3. “That this Council would investigate or report on any recent investigations of what appears to be leachate flowing from the former Raffeen Landfill Site (now the Raffeen Civic Amenity Site) into the Cork Harbour SPA at Monkstown Creek.”
Report provided: Response to D’Alton – Raffeen leachate
Cllr D’Alton thanks Enda Kiernan for the excellent report. Notes that he offers a copy of the closure report when it is finalised. Would appreciate that.
6. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr Desmond congratulates Cllr McGrath on being elected as County Mayor. Thanks Cllr O’Donnabháin for his year as Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District.
Cllr Harris echoes these sentiments and congratulates Cllr Canty on his election. This is well deserved after his 25 year service to the Council.
Cllr O’Donnabháin echoes the sentiments expressed to the Ballincollig Tidy Towns after they won the national award – the largest urban area in the 32 counties. This is a significant achievement.
Cllr Canty also congratulates Cllr McGrath. It is nice to have the County Mayor in the Chamber here at Municipal District level. Congratulates Cllr O’Donnabháin on his year as Cathaoirleach of the Municipal District. We have got fantastic awards in Ballincollig over the years. We have to thank the Council an awful lot for the support they have given us. Every town in the county is getting some financial support towards the workings of their Tidy Towns groups. Ballincollig has set a new benchmark but others are catching up. Looks better for us as tourism in the county. Was even in Passage West this morning at 8.15am and cyclists who were clearly not from the town were walking in the town.
7. Aon Ghnó Eile/Any Other Business
AE: Distributed a drawing of a pedestrian enhancement project that is going ahead for Donnybrook Hill from Bracken Court to Grange Cross. Like all the other schemes, it will be put together and brought before the members but the Traffic and Transportation section has some funding that is being dedicated to this scheme and we will go ahead with a section of it this year at Hillcourt. There are 3 properties uphill of the junction. The owners have been approached. They are very much in favour of conceding land to Cork County Council so a missing section of footpath can be built. Accommodation works and the building of the footpath will be funded this year. A pedestrian crossing and raised ramp at Hillcourt will help to slow traffic down. We hope to go ahead later in the year and are delighted that the landowners are so positive. We’re dealing with solicitors acting on their behalf at present.
SCM: The Council is acting as the agent of the Department of Agriculture to oversee the East Tip remediation on Haulbowline Island. It is expected that the work is going to tender over the next couple of months. A planning application will be prepared to obtain soil for remediation of the site. Discussions have been had with the IDA and it has been agreed that the soil will be taken from an area in Ringaskiddy. A planning application will be made by the Department of Agriculture and will be lodged in the coming weeks.
Cllr D’Alton: Not happy with this but appreciates that this is not the forum for expressing concerns. Will address them in a submission to the planning application.
Cllr O’Donnabháin: Curraheen Road – any update?
AE: No update. A Section 85 agreement is being finalised between ourselves and the City. Believes the scheme is earmarked for September.
Cllr Jeffers: Trees coming Matthew Hill. Can these be cut back?
AE: Any taking in charge is initiated by the developer. We haven’t heard from the developer in this regard and so cannot cut back the trees.
Cllr Jeffers: Council houses haven’t been painted in a particular estate whereas other houses in the estate have. Is there an update? A management company did painting for properties that aren’t owned by the Council.
MDO: This is a housing issue. But if the Council is paying into the management company, the Council’s houses should be painted like all the others.
Cllr D’Alton: Had asked before about replacing the litterbins in Passage West which have doors swinging open. Also the construction of an uncontrolled crossing/ramped footpaths at Pembroke Wood.
MDO: The Planning Policy Unit wants special meetings with the Municipal District committee in relation to the preparation of the Local Area Plan in September/October. Wants to have these meetings after the Municipal District meetings. They will be held in committee. Will forward the email from the PPU.
This concluded the meeting.
Cork County Council has prepared a Part 8 planning application for a greenway (combined cycleway/pedestrian way) from the ferry at Glenbrook to Raffeen Bridge. This proposed development includes the path for the greenway, two boardwalks, a new car park at Strawhall and traffic calming at Raffeen.
This project has massive potential but will also have many inherent concerns. Please feel free to contact me or any of your public representatives with your comments on the proposals. However, I would encourage you to make a written submission also to the County Council. You can address it to:
Maurice Manning, Director of Services
Municipal Services South
Cork County Council
Submissions on the planning application will be welcome until close of business on Friday, 19th August.
The planning application and associated drawings are available to see at the Carrigaline Area Office, at County Hall and in the libraries at Passage West and Carrigaline. I have scanned the Planning Report (this is the first part of the planning application) and the drawings and they can be accessed at the links below.
The following is a short report on the items discussed by representative councillors with TII at a meeting in Dublin last month. The pre-arranged agenda was worked up by the executive in consultation with the Municipal Districts. As a member of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District, I am frustrated that no representative of our Municipal District was present. I was not asked to contribute to the agenda in advance of the meeting. Indeed, I would not have even seen the agenda in advance of the meeting had I not asked one of my independent colleagues attending for a copy.