Category Archives: News

MY Observation to an Bord PleanÁla on the Marino Point planning application

As you know from previous posts, a planning application was lodged for Marino Point to upgrade the site infrastructure so it could function as an IDA-type industrial park and accept some of the current City Quays/Tivoli activities. It was no great surprise that the planning application was granted by Cork County Council. The decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. I submitted an observation on that appeal this week on my particular concerns of 1) who would take responsibility for overall management of the site and 2) how it is impossible to assess the overall impact of the proposed development on #PassageWest and #CorkHarbour when planning of the site is split into all its component parts. If you’d like to read it, my observation is here:

Thanks to everyone who looked for a photo of the gas flaring for me. The planning application gave the impression that Marino Point is a long way away from any sensitive receptors. We know that’s not the case and I wanted to use the photo to emphasise how activity at Marino Point can (and has) impacted on Passage West in the past. This photo (above) was the best I could come up with. There are better images in my head 😉

My submission to the cork city development plan

Both Cork County Council and Cork City Council are revising their County Development Plans for the first time since the extension of the City boundary. I’ve always thought there should never be a division between City and County. Mutual benefit is far more beneficial to both than competition. The City is even more our near-neighbour than ever before so I thought it equally important to contribute to the City Development Plan as to that in the County.

My submission is here:

we are cork summer youth challenge

The We Are Cork Summer Youth Challenge is a series of exciting, fun challenges for young people aged 13 – 18 to complete throughout the summer of 2020.

How to take part ….

– Choose your challenge from 6 themes: Music/Sport/Tech/Society/Environment/Arts. 
– Sign up using the link below. This gives you access to all the challenges via an App called FlipGrid. FlipGrid will allow you to record your challenges in 30 second video clips.  
– There are 40 challenges altogether. You need to complete 20. When your 20 are done, you will receive a medal from The Mayor of the County of Cork (or from the Lord Mayor if you are living in the Cork City Council area). 

Some examples of the challenges involved exploring your local library, writing a poem, Completing a 5k, fun challenges like learning how to juggle or make a structure out of pringles, etc…

It’s a fun and exciting challenge for all young people and allows for creativity and fun. The sign-up link is at https://bit.ly/2YZrg6m.

The Cork Summer Youth Challenge was developed by Cork Education and Training Board along with Cork County CouncilCork City CouncilCork Sports PartnershipMusic Generation Cork CityCork City Libraries. You can take a look at the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/2047764132034029/ and the participant guide is at the link below:

Garryduff Woods forest road licence application and felling licence

A licence for the clearfell of 6.54 hectares of trees in Garryduff Woods was granted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to Coillte in October 2018. The area that Coillte intends to cut is at the southern end of the forest. 6% of the trees in this area are broadleaf oak and beech, estimated as having been planted in 1863. A very small area is Douglas Fir and Juniper Larch. The remaining almost 60% is Sitka Spruce planted in 1970. The felling licence is at this link:

I’m guessing not many of us knew that a felling licence had been granted to Coillte for Garryduff Woods. When a felling licence application is received by DAFM, they advertise it on their website and there is a period of time during which the public can make comment. However there was no requirement for Coillte to put up a site notice.

What has alerted us to the possible loss of the Garryduff Woods that we know and love is that Coillte has now applied for a Forest Road Licence application to remove trees from the area it proposes to clearfell. They must stick up a site notice for this. The proposed road would run for 360 metres alongside the lower river. Building it would involve clearfelling a width of at least 15 metres. The Forest Road Licence application is here:

Coillte is obliged to replant the area they clearfell. The felling licence application shows that their replanting intentions are for 100% Sitka Spruce for future harvesting.

This is devastating for all of us who love Garryduff Woods, who rely on it for recreation, for space, for a bit of wildness in an urban environment. It means the loss of habitat for the red squirrel, badger and so many other avian, mammal and insect species.

We are in a period of public consultation on the Forest Road Licence application. You can make a submissions free of charge in relation until 26th June 2020. Your submission can be sent by post to:
Approvals Section, Forestry Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford
or by email to:
forestryappenq@agriculture.gov.ie.

You can express your views in your submission and they will be taken into account by a Forestry Inspector when s/he is considering the application. Make sure you provide your name and address and quote the reference number: CN86326.

This is my daughter during lockdown in the area of the forest which Coillte wants to decimate to build the forest road. Heartbreaking.

My motions to a meeting of the carrigaline municipal district, 15-06-2020

1. That Ballygarvan village would be included as one of the recommended locations for installation of vehicle-activated speed signage. Ballygarvan has been identified by the Gardai as being a location that would benefit from such digital speed signage.

The response from the Area Engineer was that although she has planned to undertake speed surveys in a number of towns and villages around the Municipal District and to install vehicle-activated speed signage on the advice of the findings, if the Gardaí have already made a recommendation for such signage in a location, she would consider fast-tracking its installation in that location. I am to send on the correspondence from the Gardaí.  

2. That updates would be provided on the following ongoing key projects in our Municipal District:
a. Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan
b. Glenbrook – Carrigaline/Ringaskiddy Greenway 
c. Ringaskiddy Public Realm Enhancement Plan
d. Ringaskiddy Village Enhancement Funding for Gobby Beach

The written response from the Municipal District Officer was as follows:

a. The procurement process for the TPREP is nearing a conclusion and the appointment of a Consultant is imminent. Consultation with Members and other stakeholders will be an important element of the plan preparation and we will be in a position to advise of associated timelines once the Consultant has been appointed. The Public Realm team were engaged during the preparation of the consultancy brief – and will be important stakeholders in the process – so both projects are aligned.

b. Traffic and Transportation Section is hoping to issue consultancy brief in Quarter 3 of 2020.

c and d. Carrigaline MD office is working with the Architects Department to progress a design to inform a phased approach to the overall public realm design for Ringaskiddy. COVID-19 has had an impact on the progress of these plans. Plans will be shared with the community association and with members once progressed in advance of a Part 8 Planning Application. Gobby Beach will form part of these plans and the balance of funding previously allocated under the Village Enhancement Fund remains available.

3. That Cork County Council would cut the grass verges on the L6518 from Moog to Ringaskiddy National School and on the R613 from Barnahely Cemetery to the junction with the N28.

The Area Engineer said that she would follow up on why the cutting did not take place on the cemetery to N28 section of the R613. Due to budgetary constraints, she said it was not the Area Office’s intention to cut road verges insofar as possible and so it was unlikely that the L6518 would be done.

Submissions to a proposed IDA pumping station/outfall in loughbeg, ringaskiddy

The IDA has lodged a planning application to develop a pumping station at Loughbeg. It would pump wastewater and surface water. The planning application also seeks approval for a storage tank for wastewater, a building to house controls, an ESB substation and mobile lifting gantry. It also seeks approval to provide a chemical dosing unit, a standby generator, an air handling unit placed behind an acoustic barrier and to install two new concrete manholes on an existing pipeline. It seeks approval to lay new pipelines from these pumping stations through fields and along roads from Loughbeg to the Shanbally wastewater treatment plant for a distance of some 3 km. The pumping stations will serve 75 ha of industrially zoned land, as yet undeveloped. Wastewater of unknown composition from an unknown process is to discharge to the underground storage tank from industrial development of as yet unknown characteristics. All going well, it is to be pumped to a wastewater treatment plant some 3 km away, although the wastewater treatment plant does as yet not have the capacity to accept industrial loading. All not going according to plan, the wastewater will be pumped into Loughbeg. Stormwater with as yet unknown characteristics from car parks and process areas of the as yet unknown industries will flow to the stormwater pumping station in as yet unknown quantities to be pumped into Loughbeg. Lougbeg is an integral part of the Cork Harbour SPA which supports wintering waterfowl in numbers of national and international importance.

I supported the appeal to An Bord Pleanála by lodging an observation. You can read that here:

The Board agreed there was a possibility that the proposed development would do harm so it asked the IDA to produce an NIS (Natura Impact Statement). The NIS produced by the IDA’s consultants is available here:

My commentary on the above NIS is here:

new One-way system in Crosshaven is approved

Cork County Council has approved a one-way system at the Hugh Coveney Pier, Crosshaven. A drawing showing the detail of the one-way system is available at the following link:

Three submissions were received and the County Council says that the content of each has, where possible, been addressed. Those who made submissions will receive a hard copy of the drawing.

The Area Office says that it will implement the changes on the ground as soon as possible.