An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for the first phase of development at Marino Point. This gives the green light to the Port of Cork for site preparation works including demolition of the remaining superstructures, infilling of the lagoon, site levelling, roadworks, installation of new drainage systems, a wastewater treatment plant and more.
The Board’s decision and attached conditions are here:
Cork County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District Painting Scheme is once again open for 2021. Fantastic to see Passage West featuring so prominently on the cover page of the application forms! Any building in the main commercial areas of Carrigaline, Passage West, Glenbrook & Monkstown, Ringaskiddy (Main Street/N28 from Ringaskiddy Oratory to Ringaskiddy Community Centre) and Crosshaven (Lower Road/R612 from the vacant building opposite Chish and Fips to Buckley’s Bar) is eligible under the scheme. Tenants or owners of businesses in these areas can avail of a grant of up to 50% of the cost of works up to a maximum of €1000 for shop front improvements (painting and signage) carried out by a registered contractor. If you choose to do the painting yourself, there is a contribution of up to 100% of cost to cover the materials cost. Application forms and guidelines are below. We will arrange for some application forms to be put in Passage West Post Office over the next few days also.
Cork County Council is currently preparing a Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan (TRPEP) for Carrigaline. As part of this process the Council wants to hear the views and opinions of residents, community groups, businesses and other interested parties as to how they perceive the town currently and the transportation related (i.e. active travel, public transport and roads) and public realm interventions they would like to see as the town develops. These submissions will be considered in the drafting of the TPREP .
A subsequent round of public consultation, presenting the measures proposed under the TRPEP, will take place once the draft Plan has been prepared.
A presentation providing an overview of the project and outlining how you can engage in the preparation of the Plan is available here and on Cork County Council’s website at www.corkcoco.ie/en/planning/traffic- transport:
Comments and observations may be submitted online on www.yourcouncil.ie, by email to email@example.com or in writing to Senior Engineer, Cork County Council, Traffic and Transportation, Planning and Development Directorate, Floor 11, County Hall, Cork, on or before Monday 1st March 2021.
Suspension of Standing Orders – Ringaskiddy Fire. Requested by Cllr Seamus McGrath and Cllr Marcia D’Alton
Cllr Seamus McGrath: Thanks the Mayor for facilitating the discussion. This was a very significant fire. Pays tribute to the fire service. Information deficit. Needs to be an effective communications systems set up. Acknowledges that there was a meeting last night between the Port, R&H Hall and the residents and the initial word back from residents is that they felt it was a satisfactory meeting. But during the early hours of the fire there was a deficit of information. Residents communicated among themselves through social media.
The wider issue is in relation to the response when something like this happens. Ringaskiddy is a major industrial area. The weekend’s fire concentrates minds. Ringaskiddy is a cul de sac that is surrounded by water. The Port of Cork implemented its own emergency plan on Saturday morning. But as a community Ringaskiddy would like to see the Council look at a localised incident plan for Ringaskiddy. We have a Major Emergency Plan for the county. There is a place though for a local plan for Ringaskiddy. A multi-agency approach would be adopted here.
Have some specific questions. The wind thankfully wasn’t in the direction of the main settlement. Air quality was raised though. Do we have an environmental response in terms of air quality? I understand that it was decided it was safe for residents to go outdoors. Residents want to know if that decision was based on testing. Knows there was a meeting before that decision was taken.
I want the fire service to have a role going forward. There have been three fires since September in this location. That is a matter for the company. It calls into question some of their fire prevention measures. Would like to see our fire service having a role in carrying out a risk assessment in relation to his specific site. The weekend has to be a wake-up call.
Thankfully there were no injuries.
Residents are looking with a positive frame of mind to the Council to engage on this.
Cllr Marcia D’Alton: Echoes Cllr McGrath’s thanks for facilitating this discussion on what was the second largest fire in Cork Harbour in my lifetime. Repercussions for the whole harbour. Echoes thanks also for the significance of the response from the fire service and notes that units from 4 or 5 locations were involved. Thanks also for the email communications over the past couple of days.
This fire took place at the head of the Ringaskiddy peninsula. Some of the local footage shot by drivers from Haulbowline past the fire indicated how, if it were bigger, the N28 would have been cut off. Pfizer’s OSP4 is right next door. That’s a Seveso site. So it was very fortunate that the fire was contained. It could have been so much worse. An emergency plan for Ringaskiddy is essential, not just for the community but also for the many workers on the peninsula. It is also necessary to consider an emergency plan for Cobh. Any accident at Ringaskiddy will have a significant impact on Cobh and Cobh is also an island with one road in and one road out.
Cork Harbour is a bowl and the Ringaskiddy peninsula is at its very centre. Any accident that happens in Ringaskiddy affects not only the Ringaskiddy community but communities all around the harbour.
Have also some specific questions. Requesting an inventory of materials that may have burned in the fire. We know it was mostly animal feed but the warehouse burned and other materials within the warehouse would have burned too. What kind of animal feed was it? Different grains produce different levels of particulates. Was the firewater contained or did it run into the sea? Was it analysed? That question of whether the decision to advise residents it was safe to go back outdoors was based on air monitoring has also been asked of me.
Cllr Sinead Sheppard: Supports what the two cllrs have said and glad that it is being spoken about here today. The reality is that when something like this happens, it puts everyone’s health at risk. Glad Cllr D’Alton brought up that Cobh is an island. There have been a lot of photos taken and sent to the local councillors. Wants to support all that we said. What more proof do planners need than a live model of what happens when something goes wrong? Is it even possible to think of putting an incinerator in here? This is just a no go area. Wants to commend us for doing a suspension of standing orders today. Our harbour is such a beautiful amenity. It is very distressing to see this and puts everyone’s health at risk.
Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan: Agrees with what has been said. Thanks the emergency services and the communications office. Fully supports the proposal for a Lower Harbour/Ringaskiddy incident emergency plan. We should give serious consideration to this. We’d all hope we’d never have to use it. It is a very sensible call. Where there is a lack of information there is fear. I would hope that we could write to the Port of cork to see if communications could be improved. CThe ouncil needs to take a lead in an emergency plan.
Mayor Linehan-Foley: When I saw it first it would have been on social media. Thanks the emergency services. Echoes what every councillor says and especially what Cllr D’Alton said. It’s at this stage a have-to situation. Thanks us councillors for keeping everyone updated over the weekend.
Chief Executive: Sent out a short report this morning. This set out the framework in which we operate. Commends our own fire and emergency services. There was active communication all day Saturday and all day Sunday. We will continue to remain on site for as long as it takes. There may be minor plumes of smoke emerging for a short period of time. The company will move the material from site.
Appreciates where members are coming from. Cork County Council as an organisation leads the multiagency response to a major emergency. We have a suite of plans in place. We have our own multiagency plan which is published on line. It contains emergency plans for all the Seveso sites. Assures cllrs and the public that when it comes to a major emergency operating in Cork County, the emergency planning system and the emergency response system, there are processes in place that if required we can operate beyond. Where any organisation in the county is facing something that is not within their capability to manage, we seek a multiagency response. Within those plans we have community centres, hotels, transport providers on call in the event of any situation arising.
What arose on Saturday morning was an event of scale that we responded to. It is not beyond our capability and we would have faced similar over last number of years. The Port of Cork decided to active their own emergency plan. It is clear that they have a set of actions they must take including communications. It is welcome that the Port of Cork and the company have met with residents.
There is a formal post-incident review process and this will examine everything that happened on site including communications and engagement. That learning will help us to further develop our thinking around the more granular detail around a local incident plan. We have to work in a framework. If the wind was blowing in a different way, we may well have needed to evacuate residents. Our plan provides for that. Cork County Council would have stood in in that case and activated it ourselves. Writing that down is difficult but the framework does provide for it. We would be happy to engage with local residents and the Port and enhance this. Perhaps a text alert system would work, something like the MapAlerter system for example. We’re happy to consider what we could do in this regard so that every agency down there might adopt this system if an issue arises.
On air quality – we rely heavily on the information from the port company (in this instance) and the company that operates the facility (in this case R&H Hall). We were satisfied that there was nothing burning there that would be of an enhanced public health risk for residents. So we felt there was no need to go beyond the Port’s recommendation to stay indoors.
In relation to onsite conditions and risk assessment, that is a matter for the company to review and they will be doing that as we speak. There will be a normal set of circumstances kick in. our Chief Fire Officer will in conjunction with those on the ground be preparing their own review.
No event like this is walked away from without learning which brings enhancement in risk assessment, enhancement in response, etc.
In relation to the other issues raised on the nature of what burned, etc., this will come up as part of the review. We are satisfied there is nothing of significant concern there. It will be part of R&H Hall’s review as it will be ours.
There is an onsite stormwater system but there is no doubt that it was probably not able to hold all the fire water. The Director of Services is arranging that samples are taken as we speak. Once we are satisfied we can do this in a safe manner, we will do so. We will revert on that.
The positive thing is that the fire was exceptionally well dealt with. Secondly there were no deaths or injuries. Thirdly there is a very formal review process. Any learning from this will be considered in terms of the more granular detail of a local response in the Ringaskiddy area. We may involve the Municipal District.
Cllr Cathal Rasmussen: I work in a pharma company right beside where the activity took place. I look out on R&H Hall. I am aware of the shortcomings there for a long period of time. Delighted to hear that Council will engage strongly with the Port and R&H Hall. Would be concerned that if the buildings went back, this will happen again. This was an accident waiting to happen. Will they have to go for planning permission if they want to replace the buildings? I would have huge concerns about that the buildings would go back up and we would have no say in it. As someone who has a lot of experience of dealing with the Port, I would be very concerned that everything that has to be put in place is put in place and that they are held accountable. We were lucky this time, we may not be so lucky the next time.
Cllr James Kennedy: What hasn’t been mentioned was the cost of this fire to Cork County Council. Will we be able to recoup the cost of this to our fire services? The amount that was spent on putting out the fire for a private, very profitable company? Will they pay it all back? Or will it be the same as derelict buildings that the banks will get all the costs back and we’ll have to do the safety work? Will we be compensated fully for that and if not, why not?
Cllr McGrath: (supplementary) Wants to thank the CE. Understands the post incident report. Understands that will take time. What we will give back to the community is important. Asks that it is made public as appropriate. Welcomes comments in terms of communication. There was no text system in place on Saturday morning. It would be welcome. Says the updates over the weekend were very welcome. Reminded about the air quality testing question.
Cllr D’Alton (supplementary): Want to emphasis how critical it is that we recognise the impact of an accident at Ringaskiddy on all communities of Cork Harbour. If one looks down at the harbour from above, Ringaskiddy is at the very epicentre of the harbour bowl. Pollution from an accident at Ringaskiddy can affect communities all over Cork Harbour right up to the City. Cork City Council has a network of air monitors in place. We need a similar network around the harbour. We are always seen to support industry. It has been said in the past by the Ringaskiddy community that when Ringaskiddy was being developed for industry, the people should have been moved out. But they weren’t and they are living with industry all around them. We have to be as supportive to the communities of the harbour, to its amenity and to its environment as we are to industry. This is something that has been rumbling for a very long time.
Chief Executive: It is premature to speculate on what might happen with the site. The full costs of our response is covered by charges and rates. Rates go towards supporting the fire service. The whole of one charge isn’t billed. Information flows go through our own Major Emergency Management Officer and our Chief Fire Officers, they are acutely aware of the need to engage.
There are probably two Municipal Districts involved. There are two air monitoring locations which the EPA have in Cobh. The EPA has four monitors inside in the city. The EPA monitor in Cobh showed an increase during the course of that event and it reduced afterwards. Will raise the question of a monitoring network with our environment section. The important thing is that we had full assistance on the ground from R&H Hall and the Port of Cork. Can assure members of that.
Cllr D’Alton: There are three Municipal Districts involved! We would all welcome being kept up to date through the MD structure.
Cork City Council is in the process of upgrading the greenway from Páirc Uí Chaoimh all the way to the City boundary at the Forge, just west of the Roberts Bridge car park. That’s obviously massively relevant to us here in Passage West/Monkstown!
They’re doing this in two Phases. Phase 1 is from Páirc Uí Chaoimh to the N40 (excluding the footbridge). It includes widening of the existing surfaced area from 3m to 5m, the installation of new public lighting and CCTV, highlighting the heritage of the railway (especially at Blackrock Station) and creating a biodiversity corridor along the railway line. Construction of Phase 1 has started and if you would like to see the previously approved Part 8 plans, they are at: https://consult.corkcity.ie/en/consultation/improvement-works-passage-railway-greenway-improvement-scheme.
Phase 2 is from the footbridge over the N40 to #PassageWest, although most of the focus will be from this side of the N40 to Hop Island. The project will be looking at widening the paved surface, providing improved parking areas (especially at Harty’s Quay) and installing lighting. Surveying is starting this week. This will inform the preliminary consultation phase, likely to be in mid-December. The City Council is especially anxious to look at possible alternative routes/improvements to the current shared on-road path from the Rochestown railway station to Hop Island. If you are a greenway user and/or if you would like to to make contact about your experiences and any improvements you might like to see, please share your thoughts at this preliminary phase. It will help to inform the route options analysis as it progresses. You can email the City Council to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also obviously make contact with me if that’s easier!
“That Cork County Council would introduce a special speed limit of 30 km/h in all town and village centres. This would support safer movement of pedestrians and cyclists, support local businesses by increasing shopper dwell time and support a more pleasant and healthier town centre environment.”
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, lifestyles have changed. There are more people working from home, travelling less and shopping in their local towns. There are more people taking open air exercise in their local areas. Public transport can accommodate fewer people so there are more people cycling, more people walking and, as happens at the moment, more people stepping out into the carriageway to socially distance from other pedestrians. As coffee shops and traditional indoor meeting places can accommodate fewer, there are more people socialising outdoors in our town centres: using seating on footpaths and in town squares. During lockdown earlier this year, we got a very strong sense of how reclaiming streets for people can be so very liberating. Children cycled in the carriageways. People chose walking routes that they wouldn’t normally choose. When lockdown lifted and traffic returned, many reported a very strong sense of loss that their freedom in the streets had once again been taken away.
Towns centres are for people. Places where people shop and socialise. Places where people meet friends. Places where people run businesses to bring in a family income. Cars don’t shop. Cars don’t socialise. Yet most of our town centres are dominated, not by people but by cars. Town centre movements are generally dictated not by people, but by cars. People must co-exist with cars, particularly if a busy regional road runs through a town centre as is the case with so many towns in Ireland but the balance of influence in a town centre starts to become more balanced when vehicles travel at lower speeds.
At the moment our default speed limit in built up areas is generally 50 km/h. Setting the speed limit at a maximum of 30 km/h has a multiplicity of benefits, all of which are massively helpful to people and town centres. There are fewer accidents when the speed limit is lower. Accidents that happen are less severe. In Belgium, for example, they have found that 45% of pedestrians hit by a car travelling at 50 km/h die while only 5% die from being hit by a car moving at 30 km/h. A reduced speed limit especially benefits the safety of the younger, the older and the more vulnerable road user including cyclists. In Edinburgh when they introduced 20 km/h, they found that the proportion of older primary school children allowed to play unsupervised on the street outside their homes rose from 31% to 66%. In Bristol, they found that walking and cycling rates increased by almost 25%.
A 30 km/h urban speed limit makes streets quieter almost immediately. Generally it reduces noise by 3 dB – that’s approx. the equivalent to halving traffic noise. How many of you have held outdoor meetings in the past few months and found yourself shouting to be heard over traffic noise? Or simply staying quiet whilst a truck roars past? With a reduced speed limit, on street conversations have the chance to become comfortable.
And then there is the improved air quality that comes with a lower urban speed limit: estimated at approximately a 15% reduction in CO2, a 40% reduction in NOx and a 45% reduction in CO. So it becomes healthier to linger in our town centres, easier to live in our town centres and more pleasant to do business in our town centres.
For all these reasons, one of the conclusions of the 80 ministers and 1700 experts from 140 countries at this year’s international UN summit on Road Safety was that a speed limit of 30 km/h should become “the new normal” in all places where cars, cyclists, and pedestrians cross each other. And that is why in the Netherlands, the new standard speed limit will be 30 km/h in all built-up areas. A similar decision has been taken in Spain. Lower speed limits are the norm in most city centres in Italy, in Finland, in Norway. They will be in throughout Belgium in 2021. 30 km/h has been the speed limit in Dublin City Centre and a number of large residential surburbs since 2010. Spurred on by the impact of Covid, Dublin City Council now proposes to reduce the default speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h throughout its entire administrative area. Galway City Council is proposing to reduce the speed limit in Galway City Centre to 30 km/h. And that decision was already taken in 2019 by Kerry County Council for Tralee and Killarney.
Cork County Council’s Project ACT has been about rebuilding the economy and community. A speed limit reduction to 30 km/h in our town and village centres is the perfect partner to Project ACT. It is a massive opportunity to make our towns nicer to live, work and linger in at minimal cost to the Council and with really positive outcomes for people and businesses alike.
Cork County Council’s Project ACT has been about rebuilding the economy and community. A speed limit reduction to 30 km/h in our town and village centres is the perfect partner to Project ACT. It is a massive opportunity to make our towns nicer to live, work and linger in at minimal cost to the Council and with really positive outcomes for people and businesses alike.
You can read the Executive’s response to the motion at this link:
Novartis #Ringaskiddy operates two incinerators on site. One is a liquid vapour incinerator and the other is a solid waste incinerator. Both were installed to dispose of manufacturing waste generated on site. Heat recovered from the incinerators is used in the manufacturing process. But Novartis has reduced processing over the past couple of years and plans to reduce it yet further. As a result, there isn’t enough on-site waste being generated to power the incinerators and they have had to burn fossil fuels to generate the necessary heat to continue processing.
Novartis has recently lodged a planning application with Cork County Council seeking permission to accept liquid and solid hazardous wastes from other manufacturing sites around the country to burn in their on-site incinerators. The application says that this would supplement the waste lost by the reduced manufacturing, would allow a move away from the burning of virgin fossil fuel and would reduce hazardous waste currently exported from Ireland for treatment/disposal. It says the proposed wastes would be of a type similar to what is (or was) already on site and would therefore be suitable for burning in their incinerators. It also says that this move would help them sustain the Ringaskiddy operation.
I put considerable work into preparing a submission to this planning application. At face value, the logic of optimising existing under-used infrastructure makes perfect sense. However having been part of the 20-year campaign to keep merchant incineration out of Cork Harbour, I felt it was necessary that there would be crystal clear understanding of the proposed Novartis operation. You can read my submission at this link:
Funding was approved by Cork County Council’s South Cork Local Community Development Committee today for a whole range of community groups under the Community Enhancement Programme. The scheme had 132 applications, was well oversubscribed and thanks to the LCDC for making a real effort to make sure as many groups as possible got what they were requesting. Some funding applications were transferred to the Covid Emergency Fund to which they were more suited. Two applications were transferred to the Creative Ireland grant scheme and were funded that way.
The full list of awarded grants under the Community Enhancement Programme is at this link:
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 😉
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.
– 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.
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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:
Today was the final day for submissions to the consultation on the proposed Housing & Planning & Development Bill 2019. Its title belies its intended impact which would be to vastly restrict access to justice in environmental matters. Access to the courts for judicial review is already very difficult in Ireland, so difficult that our procedures have been called into question by the European Commission. Any NGO or community group who has attempted to have a planning decision examined through the courts will attest to the magnitude of the hurdles that must be jumped.
The Housing & Planning & Development Bill would raise those hurdles even higher. It proposes the following for all NGOs or community groups who seek access to justice:
-to be established for a minimum of three years (rather than the current one year),
-to have a minimum of 100 affiliated members,
-to have a constitution or a set of rules establishing their area of environmental protection for at least three years, with the additional requirement that such aims and objectives must relate / be relevant to the subject matter of the leave application they wish to make,
-to satisfy a ‘substantial’ (rather than ‘sufficient’) interest test and be directly affected by a proposed development in a way which is ‘peculiar or personal’,
-to bear the burden of new cost capping arrangements of €10,000 (or €5,000 for individuals)
Our courts are currently our only mechanism of appeal for large-scale projects. The proposals outlined in this Bill would massively undermine the right of participation to which Irish communities and NGOs are entitled under the Aarhus Convention. I made a submission to the consultation which you can read here:
Anything that happens at Marino Point affects Passage West. The Marino Point jetty is merely 500 metres directly across the water from Passage West town centre. The site has lain derelict since IFI ceased operating in 2002. Some clearance has taken place under the guidance of the EPA but many of the old structures still remain. The Port of Cork has purchased the site in partnership with Lanber Holdings to form the new Belvelly Marino Development Company. They have applied to Cork County Council for planning permission to clear these old structures, to install a new surface and foul drainage system, to infill the lagoon, construct flood defences and essentially prepare serviced sites for industrial development. Gouldings fertilisers is expected to move their operations on Centre Park Road to Marino Point and a planning application for this is due in early 2020.
It’s good to see life at Marino Point but I’m also conscious that anything taking place there will likely have an impact on Passage West. Marino Point is in the Cobh Municipal District and there is a risk that because water rather than land separates us, the vulnerability of Passage West may be underplayed or overlooked during the planning process. So I made a submission to the Port of Cork/Belvelly Marino Development Company’s planning application. A local residents group in Passage West also made a submission and I have been given permission to make it generally available. You will find links to both here …
This was a planning application lodged by O’Flynn Construction. O’Flynn’s has been developing Drake’s Point since 2017. Much local concern has been expressed about the proximity of earthworks to some magnificent and very mature trees close to the development and on the edge of Crosshaven Woods. I have been trying to engage with the planning department of Cork County Council to improve protection of these trees for many months without success. O’Flynn’s proposed apartment development is also to be adjacent to mature trees. I prepared this submission in the hope of a) finally getting a response from the planning department and b) helping to prevent against a repeat of the disregard for mature trees that we have observed to date. The workload being particularly heavy in this recent period, I lodged my submission by email on the closing date (28th November). Having confirmed in advance with Cork County Council that my submission would be valid if received by them before midnight, I sent it at 22:41. However Cork County Council refused to accept it as valid, saying that their server indicated that my submission was received at 03:43.
Planning Policy Unit,
Cork County Council,
21st November, 2019.
To whom it may concern.
Please consider this submission as my strong objection to the proposed Variation No. 2 of the Cork County Development Plan 2014.
National and regional policy as outlined in the National Planning Framework 2018, the South West Regional Planning Guidelines 2010, the South East Regional Planning Guidelines and the Southern Region Spatial & Economic Strategy 2018 (in draft) all contain one clear message with regard to the primacy of urban centres as regional and metropolitan drivers, compact and sustainable development, a focus on regeneration and, particularly in the context of the draft DSRSES, the importance of retail in enhancing the vibrancy and vitality of urban centres, large and small. The proposed Variation No. 2 does not support these national and regional policy aims.
The Guidelines for Planning Authorities – Retail Planning (2012) also place a clear priority on developing all aspects of the vibrancy and vitality of urban centres. They encourage a sequential approach to retail planning. They have a general presumption against retail outlet centres and caution how they can negatively affect existing retail centres with the possible exception of a their establishing a beneficially synergistic relationship with an adjacent urban centre should they be developed immediately adjacent to that urban centre. In the case of the ROC that Variation No. 2 would facilitate, that means that, at best, Carrigtwohill or Midleton may benefit to the detriment of Cork City and other county towns. This is contrary to the aims of the national retail planning guidelines.
The most recent Metropolitan retail policy for Cork is the Metropolitan Cork Joint Retail Strategy 2015. It has a stated policy of maintaining Cork City Centre as the primary location for comparison shopping and that if proposals in locations outside the city centre are being considered for comparison development, the potential implications for the regeneration of key opportunity sites in the city centre need to be considered. Although 45% of the custom for the proposed ROC that would be enabled by Variation No. 2 is estimated as originating from the city, those potential implications have not been considered as part of the Study on the Requirement for Retail Outlet Centres in the Cork Metropolitan Area (SRROCCMA).
The Joint Retail Strategy 2015 states that when considering the future allocation of comparison floorspace, regard must be had to the extent of existing vacancy within the core areas of towns in the Metropolitan area. An examination of existing vacancy did not form any part of the SRROCCMA. The Study simply states that the necessary data was not available to undertake a health check of town centres. It quotes vacancy data for Cork City Centre from 2014 – 2017. The basic information on commercial vacancy available through Geodirectory is as recent as Q2 2019 for Cork City Centre and for a number of other Metropolitan towns.
TCR 9-1 of the Cork County Development Plan 2014 has an objective of reducing the amount of vacant floorspace in core retail areas by 50% in the short term. This objective has not been close to achieved. According to Geodirectory, in Q2 2014 Cork’s commercial vacancy rate was 11.5%. In Q2 2019, again according to Geodirectory, Cork’s commercial vacancy rate was 11.6%. Overall vacancy in Munster is calculated at 12.9%. Vacancy in Co. Kerry is up from 9% in Q2 2014 to 10.6% in Q2 2019. Vacancy in Counties Limerick and Waterford is similarly up in the same period from 13.9% to 15.3% and from 13.3% to 14.1% respectively.
The SRROCCMA indicates the threat that an ROC could pose to current and future retailing in urban centres throughout the region. Whilst the level of available expenditure within the catchment is calculated to help justify an ROC in Metropolitan Cork, the reality is that in the absence of an ROC, that available expenditure would be spent in retail outlets in urban centres. The SRROCCMA predicts that 45% of trips to an ROC in Carrigtwohill/Midleton would come from Cork City. This would clearly impose a negative impact on the primacy of Cork City Centre for comparison retailing. Similarly if (as identified in Paragraph 3.4.3 of the SRROCCMA) passengers on visiting cruise liners spend an average of 42% of their money on shopping, an ROC adjacent to the Cobh cruise terminal would be in direct competition with existing town centre retail outlets.
Our town centres are our greatest assets. All of our county towns have mammoth potential to fill the retail and tourism roles that Variation No. 2 proposes for this ROC. Given the funding, support and opportunity, all of them could do so in a way that is in accordance with stated national and regional policy. Paragraph 3.4.4 of the SRROCCMA notes that while the Cork Strategic Tourism Task Force report identifies plenty of visitor attractions throughout the county, it also considers that there is a general lack of awareness of the county’s assets. In my opinion, Cork County Council’s finances and energies would be far better placed in enhancing those visitor attractions and building awareness than in supporting the development of a new retail attraction that has the potential to impact negatively on existing attractions and town centres.
An ROC would be an entirely car-focused development. The SRROCCMA assumes it would serve a catchment delineated by a two-hour drive time. The modal split assumes the same 90% car share profiled in the Kildare Tourist Village Outlet. In this time of acute climate awareness, to encourage development that relies so heavily on the private car is entirely contrary to national policy. The introduction to Cork County Council’s own Budget 2020 states that “climate change is the defining issue of our time and it is a problem which requires commitment from all parties to an integrated approach to address the challenges posed”.
The SRROCCMA contains no assessment of the carbon impact associated with an ROC development. Yet earlier this month, all local authorities in Ireland signed a charter committing to decarbonising their activities, pursuing sustainable development and putting in place a process for carbon-proofing decisions, programmes and projects. There is no indication of this commitment here.
This proposed Variation has effectively received no meaningful Strategic Environmental Assessment. In the SEA Screening, it is stated more than once that “the proposed Variation will not give rise to any environmental effects”. The SRROCCMA predicts that the ROC enabled by the Variation would potentially generate some 35,000 customer trips each week. Again, in this time of climate sensitivity, this is a very clear and significant environmental effect. It is not acceptable to consider adopting the proposed Variation No. 2 without calculating the carbon impact associated with the ROC that the Variation is enabling.
Only one of the bodies consulted in the course of the SRROCCMA is supportive of the concept of a ROC in Metropolitan Cork. All but that one have expressed the same concerns I have outlined above.
My interpretation of paragraph 2.6 of the SRROCCMA is very clear: the Study’s relatively comprehensive policy review reaffirms that the city/town centre is a priority for new retail development. That policy is also in accordance with advice outlined in the Retail Policy Guidelines. However, if an ROC were to be introduced in Metropolitan Cork in contravention of national, regional and retail policy, because Cork County Council adopted Variation No. 1 in 2018, the ROC would be in accordance with local planning policy objectives. The reference to ROCs in Variation No. 1 was presented as three pages within a 52 page document, the first 39 of which deal specifically with housing-related matters. If those three pages pertaining to ROCs are contrary to national retail policy, we as a Council need to re-examine them in the context of the forthcoming review of the County Development Plan.
Variation No. 1 commits Cork County Council to undertaking a “detailed evidence-based assessment” to confirm the need for an ROC. In its failure to include any consideration of existing commercial vacancy in either town centres or in Cork City Centre, the SSROCCMA fails to fulfil this commitment. Also, in failing to undertake any meaningful SEA of the environmental impacts including carbon footprint of a potential ROC, Cork County Council is in breach of the requirements of Directive 2001/42/EC as transposed and as amended.
Finally, I cannot let this submission pass without commenting on the SRROCCMA’s reference to my own town of Passage West. Despite the ongoing efforts of its residents and businesses, Passage West exhibits extensive dereliction and commercial vacancy. The SRROCCMA explains this “decline” as being “due to the loss of traditional industries and the dockyards”. The dockyard and its associated industries were in decline since the 1870s and although the Royal Victoria Dockyard is still an operating entity under the ownership of the Doyle Shipping Group, shipbuilding ceased in 1931. That is nearly a century ago. We long for regeneration of our town centre, we work continually to improve its appearance and we are forever frustrated by Cork County Council’s ongoing reluctance to use both its powers of Compulsory Purchase and the Derelict Sites Act to help clean up our built heritage. We long for an architect-assisted streetscape enhancement that will encourage tourists to stop in our waterside town. We long for holistic management of Cobh and Passage West such that even some of the cruise passengers might make their way across the West Passage to engage with some the rich maritime heritage our town proudly boasts. We long for Cork County Council to grasp the potential of our town and work energetically with us to realise even some of what it could offer. That the SRROCCMA attributes our town’s lack of commercial activity to events which are now a century old is a very strong illustration of the need for the Council’s time and energy to be focused on building up its existing town centres, not on facilitating the development of an ROC.
Independent Member, Cork County Council
Irish Water Uisce Éireann has just finished a public consultation on what has the unattractive title of “Site Selection Methodology Report for Sludge Hub Centres”. Seriously not a title that is likely to attract public interest. Parts of it are equally dry to wade through to the extent that even I, with a background in this area, found the going tough.
That old maxim that matter cannot be destroyed but is converted from one form into another was never truer than for wastewater. The byproduct from sewage or any other form of wastewater treatment is sludge. Managing that sludge is the least spoken about part of wastewater treatment.
Sludge from municipal wastewater is organic and, as long as one is careful about what goes into the sewer, can be reasonably clean. In Ireland we haven’t developed many options for how to deal with it. Being nutrient-rich, sludge from urban centres is generally reused as a fertiliser in agriculture (with a whole dose of quality control measures attached). Sludge from chemical-based industries wouldn’t be an equally nice product and is usually either sent to landfill or burned. Before being used in agriculture, sludge must be treated to pasteurisation standard so it is guaranteed to be disease-free. This involves expensive capital works and so treatment is most financially viable in big centres or “sludge hubs”.
Irish Water proposes to centralise treatment of all municipal sludge arising in Counties Cork and Kerry in one (or maybe two) sludge hubs. The three locations being evaluated to perform as these sludge hubs are 1) Carrigrennan (Little Island), 2) Tralee and (yes, you guessed it!) 3) Shanbally. The consultation wasn’t about this approach or about where the sludge hubs might be but rather about what factors each of these three locations might be evaluated against to see which was best. I call that public consultation Irish-style and am sick to the teeth of it. Where is the environmental logic in transporting sludge from places like Castletownbere to here??? This brings the concept of centralisation to a whole new level.
At today’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District, we were presented with the promised report on the recent upgrade to the Shannonpark roundabout. Traffic calming measures at the N28/R610 junction were also included in the report.
The nub of the issue here is that Cork County Council had got planning permission through a Part 8 procedure to increase the capacity of the roundabout by providing a slip lane from Carr’s Hill to the N28 eastbound, amongst other measures. But when the project came to be built on the ground, the slip lane was omitted and an additional left-turn-only lane was added on the Carr’s Hill approach to the roundabout instead.
The Council’s report explains that this change arose at detailed design stage to meet the requirements of TII’s latest design advice: to put the planned slip lane in, an additional lane would have been necessary to bring it eastbound along the N28. Merging on a national route (as we do at the Kinsale Road and Sarsfield Road roundabouts) is no longer allowed.
The cost of the work is less than was budgeted. About €660k was budgeted; the cost of the tendered job was just over €510k.
I need your help! Consultation on the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy ends on Friday at 5pm. This is the document that outlines the future of bus services, rail services, greenway provision, roads and more throughout the whole Cork Metropolitan Area. It is the first time in as long as I can remember that the NTA has actually INVITED the Cork public to connect with them in a meaningful way. We need to have our voices heard about provision of public transport to Passage West and Monkstown. I am drafting my own submission but many voices are so much louder than one. Please could you use as many or all of the points below as you wish to make your own submission. Copy them directly from the text at the bottom here or print them off from the link below – they’re yours to use however you wish. We haven’t much time so do whatever is easiest for you. Just do please make a submission!
Submission to the National Transport Authority (NTA) on the draft Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS)
As a resident of [………………..], I ask that the National Transport Authority would consider the following in the context of the current consultation on the Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Study:
The frequency of the current 223 service needs to be increased to at least every half hour. Delivery of this increased frequency is needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
Double decker buses are necessary on the current 223 service during peak times. At present, passengers regularly stand when commuting. This puts the safety and welfare of passengers at unacceptable risk. Full buses can pass those waiting at bus-stops without pulling in, often leaving passengers waiting a full hour for the next service. This is not acceptable. Improvements in this regard are needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
Reliability of the current 223 service has been an ongoing issue. Buses need to turn up on time, not early or late. Genuine and accurate real time data is essential. Buses need to pull in at all stops. It is vital that buses complete their full route. At present if buses are behind schedule they can “forget” to service Church Hill, Passage West. If drivers have reached their permitted hours, the bus can simply stop although the route is not complete, thereby leaving passengers stranded. Improvements in this regard are needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
Although it has been promised for years, there is no direct bus connecting Passage West to Carrigaline.Neither is it indicated in the CMATS proposals. Delivery of this bus route is past critical. Essential services for Passage West have been closed and moved to Carrigaline. Public health and social welfare services which impact the most vulnerable of our residents are now delivered for Passage West out of Carrigaline. It is a core part of the NTA’s remit that public transport is provided to essential services. A direct bus service between Passage West and Carrigaline is needed now and cannot wait for implementation of the CMATS proposals.
Throughout the 19thcentury and into the early part of the 20thcentury, public transport was effectively and efficiently delivered between Cork City and the harbour towns by a steamer service operating in Cork Harbour. The opportunity for public transport by water has not been considered in CMATS and needs to form an essential part of future public transport proposals for this part of Cork.
Early delivery of the train station at Ballynoe is essential for improving public transport options in Passage West/Monkstown. It would enable residents of Passage West and Monkstown to efficiently and effectively use the rail line connecting Cobh and Cork City. I ask that delivery of the Ballynoe train station would be a priority of CMATS.
The Cross River Ferry is an essential part of transport delivery in this part of Cork and particularly in Passage West, Monkstown and Cobh. I ask that it would be considered as an integral part of the CMATS considerations.
The existing greenway from Passage West to Cork City is a valuable sustainable transport resource.It needs to be extended so that it provides safe connectivity for cyclists to Ringaskiddy and to Carrigaline. I ask that delivery of this Cork Harbour Greenway would be a priority of CMATS.
Early delivery of bus priority between Rochestown and Cork City is essential if public transport is to provide a reliable alternative to the car. At present, frequent congestion means that the existing bus service does not provide that reliable alternative. I ask that early delivery of this bus priority would be a recognised aim of CMATS.
The NTA takes decisions on all aspects of our public bus service that can deeply affect the everyday welfare of people living in this part of Cork. Even simple service improvements like bus shelters are a decision of the NTA. Yet the NTA is Dublin-based and Dublin-focused. Communication with the NTA is difficult and at a distance. It is a matter of urgency that the NTA would establish an office in Cork. This is needed now and cannot wait for delivery of CMATS.
Mine was the dubious landmark of having submitted the first motion of our new Council term. I proposed that Cork County Council would create the post of a Tree Protection Officer. In hindsight, I should have used the term “Tree Officer” instead because the concept would be that the role of such an individual would be not just to optimise the protection of existing valuable trees but also to provide professional advice on when trees become dangerous, pruning/maintenance, planting of appropriate species, disputes about trees on shared boundaries, etc. That’s the kind of remit similar roles in UK local authorities have. It was considered at full Council on Monday and received cross-party support. The Chief Executive has the ultimate say when it comes to staffing. He has suggested that the proposal would go to the Environment Strategic Policy Committee for the practicalities to be fleshed out. So that is what will happen next. The introduction to my motion (at the link below) included an outline of some of the extraordinary and sometimes unconsidered multifaceted benefits of trees. They are essentially an intergenerational piece of infrastructure. We have whole Directorates dedicated to other intergenerational pieces of infrastructure!!!
Cork County Council‘s Streetscape Painting, Signage and Improvement Scheme has just been released for 2019!
This scheme is all about improving the look of town centres throughout the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District so if you are an owner or tenant of a building on the main street of the town centre in Passage West, Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy, Douglas or Ballincollig, you may qualify for a grant of up to 50% of the cost of painting your building facade and/or a grant of up to 50% for replacing plastic/neon signage with heritage signage. If you want to do the painting yourself, the scheme covers 100% of the cost of materials. If you can get your street or group of buildings to collaborate, a grant of up to 60% is available for facade painting. And if you have a more tricky 3-storey building, additional fund may be available to help you out.
The application form and guidelines are available at these links:
If you would like me to email them to you in Word format, please let me know. Or if you would prefer to fill out a hard copy, they will be available in the Passage West Post Office in the next couple of days.
Applications for the scheme for towns going into the City (Ballincollig and Douglas) are to be received by 24th May. Applications for towns staying in the County have a closing date of 28th June. Areas to be included in the scheme are as follows:
Main Street (R608): West from the junction at Carrigdene to 100m west of Junction at Coolroe (Supervalu shopping centre), Bothar Saclay to Baker Street, including Chapel Gate, Time Square, Chapel Lane Row, Station Road from Main St to Baker Street & The Square.
Western side of R611:
Area South of Carrigaline Court Hotel to Church Hill/ Kilmoney Road junction.
Eastern side of R611:
Area South of Garda station to Church Hill/Kilmoney Road junction.
Douglas East, Douglas West, Church Road, Church Street
R610 Cork Street through Beach Road to Carrigmahon Hill junction.
N28 From junction at Warren’s Court to junction at Shamrock Place
This is a great scheme. If you have any questions at all, please ring 021-4285058/4285557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“That Cork County Council asks the government, and members of the Joint Committee on Communications Climate Action and Environment (both TDs and Senators) to bring the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill before the Dáil for consideration such that in this time of climate emergency it may be considered for passing into legislation, with or without appropriate amendments, without delay as an acknowledgment of the fact that we face a climate emergency and cannot hope to limit global temperature rises without leaving 80% of already proven reserves in the ground.”
Introduction to motion:
In February 2018, a year ago, a Dáil majority voted to support the principle of the Climate Emergency Bill which calls for a ban on the issuing of licences for exploration of fossil fuels off Ireland’s coasts. The Dáil unanimously agreed to refer the Bill to the relevant Select Committee of TDs for detailed scrutiny. Senators were included in the deliberations. In December 2018, the committee was expected to send a report to the Dail and the Bill would then have gone to another committee for any amendments. But the Joint Committee was deadlocked and since then the Bill has been caught in a procedural dispute as to whether it needs a majority of the Joint Committee of TDs and Senators to progress it or just a majority of the Select Committee of TDs only.
We are in a climate emergency. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) has warned that the next ten years will be the most important in our history in making a fast and fair transition to a decarbonised economy.
If we exploit all the fossil fuel reserves already on the books of fossil fuel companies, it would result in a rise in global temperatures well in excess of the temperature limits agreed to in the Paris Agreement. The expert consensus is that 80% already-known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground if we are to limit global warming to 2 degC. It makes no sense to explore for more fossil fuels that cannot be burned.
Ireland’s current path will see us missing our 2020 climate and energy emission reduction targets. Rather than decrease, our greenhouse gas emissions actually increased by 7% since 2015. If we continue as we are, it will be virtually impossible to make our 2030 targets. Enacting this Bill would send a global signal that Ireland recognises that the world is in a state of climate emergency, that the next decade is critical and that we will pursue our energy security, jobs and other social and economic goals without the option of new fossil fuel reserve development.
If we do this, Ireland would be the fifth country globally to ban fossil fuel exploration. In France in 2017, for example, legislation was passed to end new licences for fossil fuel exploration and to cease all oil and gas extraction by 2040.
People all around Ireland and around the world recognise that we are in a climate emergency. Tens of thousands of people will take part in climate marches at the end of this week. And yet the Climate Emergency Bill is stuck in a procedural limbo such that it cannot be voted on by the legislators whom those same people voted into office.
I am asking for your support for:
Amend the motion slightly to better reflect that state of climate emergency:
“That Cork County Council asks the government, and members of the Joint Committee on Communications Climate Action and Environment (both TDs and Senators) to bring the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) (Climate Emergency Measures) Bill before the Dáil for consideration such that in this time of climate emergency it may be considered for passing into legislation, with or without appropriate amendments, without delay as an acknowledgment of the fact that we face a climate emergency and cannot hope to limit global temperature rises without leaving 80% of already proven reserves in the ground.”
Circulate the motion to all local authorities such that their elected members can also reflect the desire of their electorate in supporting actions that commit Ireland to acting on the current climate emergency.
I agree with Cllr O’Sullivan’s suggestion that we would send a message of support to the students on Friday. We can make it clear to them that at least we as their local government representatives are aware of the current climate emergency.
The Fund was massively oversubscribed. In South Cork, 118 applications to a value of €1.7m were received; the fund available for distribution was €500,000. Throughout the whole county, Cork County Council received 420 applications to a value of €5.7m. The total fund available for the county at large was €1.5m.
I had but 24 hours to put together a submission to An Bord Pleanála in respect of Cork City Council’s proposed flood defence/public realm works at Morrison’s Island. I used all 24 of them and had I had 3 times that, could have used all of that too! However, time being what it was, my submission had to be a distillation of my gravest concerns, You can read them here: Submission to ABP. It was hard not to also mention that which perplexes me most: with the finest minds from a multiplicity of disciplines advising that the Morrison’s Island project is not what is best for Cork, why are Cork City Council and the OPW not listening? We can only hope that An Bord Pleanála will.
The government had promised a “whole of island” approach to the remediation but now seems unable to decide which department is responsible for taking the project forward.
I was concerned about this last June and followed it up in the Council Chamber through a motion which you will find at this link: Motion. The response from the Department to my motion is here: Response to motion. (The highlighting is my own.)
Friends of the Irish Environment who had brought the European Commission to see the East Tip contamination in 2011 were also concerned. Their information is that survey work on the island had not merely found the remaining 11 hectares to be physically connected with the 9 hectares of the East Tip but also that the area around the steelworks factory site was that of greatest contamination on the island. They alerted the European Commission to the government’s “breach of promise” by not following through on remediation of either the steelworks factory site or the South Tip: EU_complaint_Haulbowline_full_1.05.18. (Again, the highlightling is my own.)
Haulbowline is one of this country’s worst pollution legacies. That the government might address the clean-up of only the bit that is relevant to keeping Ireland out of trouble with the European Commission is disgusting, especially as lack of funding cannot be cited as an excuse. Whatever departments are passing the buck on this one need to sort it out fast and get on with it 😠
“That Cork County Council would carry out an assessment of sheltered housing for the elderly, both public and private, currently available in each town in the county and that, arising from this assessment, Cork County Council would adopt the following policies:
It will be a specific objective of the County Development Plan to provide for sheltered housing for the elderly in every town in the county.
The range of sheltered housing to be provided will allow for both independent and supported living.
The sheltered housing will be provided close to the town centre and/or services and amenities.
The number of sheltered housing units to be provided will be an appropriate proportion of the population of each town.
The Local Area Plan for each Municipal District will identify areas in each town appropriate for the provision of sheltered housing for the elderly.”
The age profile of the Irish population is increasing. The last Census (2016) saw an increase of over 19% in people aged over 65. There was also a 15.6% increase in the number of people aged over 85. This is a huge success story in terms of lifestyle and health but our national and local policies must recognise the implications of this demographic shift and start planning for it now so that we can as a nation embrace rather than fear growing older.
Research carried out by the charity, Alone found that 49% of people aged 60 live alone, more than half in private homes. Of those, almost 59% live in a house with five rooms or more.
At the same time there are almost 23,000 people in nursing homes. That is 3.7% of the over 65 population and that percentage continues to increase. In research undertaken in 2017, some of those living in nursing home facilities reported that they moved there because they were alone and could not or did not want to manage their own home any longer. Despite this, 80% of older adults are negative towards moving into a nursing home (Age Friendly Ireland, 2016). It is estimated that the cost to the Fair Deal scheme will increase by an additional €729 million annually by 2031 as a result of demographic changes (Alone).
Older people want to age in place but without a choice of appropriate housing, many cannot. That housing needs to be offered across a spectrum, open to all older people, regardless of whether they qualify for social housing or whether they can avail of private options. It needs to include both purpose-built homes, dispersed in the community and dedicated sheltered housing in shared and supported schemes.
Community-based supports are critical for all of us but even more important for older people who need to live in close proximity to their family, their social networks, to public transport and other essential public services and to recreation opportunities. Research indicates that 15% of those aged 65 or over would move to a different home within their community if they had the opportunity to do so. In the UK, this is called right-sizing.
Nobody is better placed to provide for appropriate opportunities for right-sizing to either independent or sheltered living than local authorities. It takes foresight and planning to ensure that housing for older people is located close to their current homes so that they are not displaced from their communities and social networks. Our opportunities to do this are at policy level in the County Development Plan and at a practical level in our Municipal Area Plans.
The Joint Housing Strategy requires our Development Plans at either County or Municipal level to include specific policies to secure a housing mix which considers the needs of special groups such as the elderly. I am glad to hear that this is going to be developed further in the forthcoming review of the County Development Plan. I would like to see us developing right-sizing policies for our social housing stock. But what I am urgently seeking support for through this motion is for us as a local authority to ensure that each town has ample provision of a range of houses appropriate for aging. To actively identify in our Local Area Plans town centre or close to town centre sites that are best placed to develop sheltered housing for the elderly. I want this process to start now, not in 2024 when the next Local Area Plans are due. I thank Maurice for his report and for his Department’s efforts. It is very welcome that houses for older people are being provided through the Capital Assistance Scheme. But as an example, there are 817 people over 65 in Bandon. If, as research shows, 15% of these were willing to right-size, that is a requirement for 122 age-appropriate units. If even half of that requirement were available in the community, the 9 house-scheme currently under construction through the Capital Assistance Scheme is a long way off what is necessary. And in many cases it does not have to be the local authority or an approved housing body who provides the shortfall but it is necessary that the local authority would provide for them by ensuring appropriate lands in or adjacent to the town centre are identified and available. If we don’t do this now, we won’t be able to do it. Those valuable sites will be gone.
This submission pertains to the total road closure proposal advertised on 19thDecember for the R610 Glenbrook – Victoria Terrace/Bath Terrace/Sommerville Terrace from 12thJanuary – 4thMarch 2019.
I write on my own behalf and on the behalf of many others who have expressed their concerns to me with regard to this proposed closure which will sever the connection between the residents of Monkstown and their nearest services in Passage West. It is also essential to point out in the strongest way possible that the service providers of Passage West depend upon the custom of the residents of Glenbrook and Monkstown and that of stopping passing traffic for survival of their businesses. The proposed road closure would impact severely on the convenience of the people of Glenbrook and Monkstown and on the businesses of Passage West town centre.
For most of us the proposed total road closure is a temporary phase during which inconvenience must be minimised and safety must be maximised. However for the businesses in Passage West town centre and in Monkstown, this proposed total closure follows over a year of sequential partial road closures and approximately three months of total road closures. These ongoing restrictions in trade are a tremendous threat to their viability. Several reported a 40% drop in turnover during a previous total road closure. Others either cut staff hours or laid off staff entirely. For some of these businesses, implementation of the Lower Harbour drainage scheme may lead to permanent closure. This is a heavy price for Passage West/Monkstown to pay for the beneficial gain of a wider audience. Once again, I echo the calls of local businesses in asking that the County Council assists their survival with such practical measures as a rates reduction in the same way as the County Council is assisting Irish Water by their ongoing granting of road closure licences.
Specifically with regard to the current road closure application, I ask that Cork County Council would take the following considerations into account and condition the road closure licence accordingly.
As in previous total closures of the R610, the applicant proposes to provide a shuttle bus through Passage West to connect with the regular diverted Bus Eireann service.The Bus Eireann service calls to Monkstown only once per hour during most of the daytime period when the R610 is to be totally closed. Residents of Monkstown who would normally come to Passage West during the day for services would, rather than tackling the circuitous and higher risk back roads, most likely take their custom elsewhere. Over the period of a proposed almost two-month closure, this would have a massively negative impact on businesses in Passage West. To relieve the severity of this loss of custom, I ask that a regular shuttle bus connecting Monkstown, Glenbrook and Passage West would be scheduled for once every 15 minutes. This service would supplement the hourly Bus Eireann service, thereby providing a realistic alternative to residents who would otherwise drive to Carrigaline or Douglas.
One quarter of the children attending Scoil Barra Naofa (Monkstown primary school) live in Passage West or Glenbrook.There are many others who, although living in Monkstown, attend afterschool care either in private homes or in crèches in Passage West. Parents driving to and from Monkstown school have already been significantly inconvenienced by road closures imposed in Passage West. They have received no assistance from Irish Water or from Ward & Burke in overcoming this inconvenience. The road closure now proposed for Glenbrook would present their greatest inconvenience to date. They would endure the proposed partial closure of the R610 during the morning rush hour. When collecting at either 1.30pm or 2.30pm, the R610 through Glenbrook would be totally closed. They would have no choice other than to use the back roads to get to Passage West. Their most likely route from Scoil Barra Naofa would be up the Glen in Monkstown, along the back road to Rochestown Monastery and turning right at the monastery to re-enter Passage West via Church Hill. The back road to the monastery is a narrow, winding road which necessitates careful, slow driving. At several points along its length, two cars are unable to pass. The inadequacy of this road to cope with diverted traffic has been well rehearsed in applications for previous total closures of the R610. During the last total closure, traffic management relieved the danger of travelling the back road to the monastery. Traffic management does not appear to be part of the current proposed total closure. Consequently the risk and inconvenience to Scoil Barra Naofa parents would again be unrecognised. Foggy and icy weather is most frequently experienced during the January – March period and these are precisely the months during which the proposed total closure would force cars onto the elevated back roads. At least some of this risk could be alleviated by the shuttle bus requested in 1. Above. It could be scheduled to serve Scoil Barra Naofa, particularly at school closing time. Availability of a shuttle bus would would alleviate the risk of pushing cars onto the back roads and it would provide a realistic alternative to parents and minders who would have to endure this significant inconvenience for a period of almost two months.
It is highly likely that Bailey’s Lane would be used as a rat-run to circumvent that area of the R610 which would be totally closed.No traffic management has been proposed for Bailey’s Lane. This is not acceptable. Bailey’s Lane is narrow. It cannot take two-way traffic. Residences along Bailey’s Lane have no footpath interface between their front gates and passing traffic. Moreover, the structural condition of the road is questionable. It is imperative that Bailey’s Lane is either closed entirely to all but residents or that it is used as an official diversion in the same way as Fair Hill was used in previous total closures of the R610. It is not acceptable that the current laissez-faire, cross-our-fingers-and-hope-for-the-best approach would be adopted. This approach would serve no-one’s interests other than those of the contractor.
Should Bailey’s Lane be used as an official diversion similar to Fair Hill in the previous total closure of the R610, it would be fair recompense to the residents that traffic calming would be provided, perhaps in the form of ramps at the Passage West end.Traffic on Bailey’s Lane frequently travels far quicker than is safe or acceptable. To require the contractor to install traffic calming would be a long-term benefit to the residents and would compensate them for the risk and inconvenience of accommodating R610 traffic for what would be almost a two-month period.
During the working week, it is proposed that the southbound lane of the R610 would be open during rush hour and during the night-time period.However the southbound lane of the R610 is often blocked by cars queuing for the Cross River Ferry. Moreover during the evening rush hour, cars coming from Ringaskiddy/Monkstown are forced to do almost a U-turn to join the ferry queue. This further slows the movement of the queue that stretches back to Glenbrook. If the only lane of the R610 to be opened is the southbound lane and that southbound lane were to be blocked by the ferry queue, there would be total impasse. There simply is not adequate road width to do what is proposed. Cars coming from the south would be waiting at traffic lights to pass through the single open lane; cars waiting for the ferry would be queuing in the southbound lane; cars coming from Passage West town centre would be travelling through the single open lane. It would be necessary that the contractor would actively manage traffic passing through the partial closure during rush-hour periods. Traffic build-ups may also be alleviated if Doyle’s Shipping were to be required to ensure two vessels were servicing the crossing at all peak times. It may also help if the County Council were to liaise with Doyle’s Shipping on their traffic management methodology which allows cars from Ringaskiddy no option other than to do that U-turn into the ferry queue. I am mindful that whilst the applicant for this road closure licence is not Doyle’s Shipping, appropriate traffic management is a key consideration in Cork County Council’s permitting of the Cross River Ferry operation.
Direct communication with residents living alongside the proposed works is critical and was not adequate during previous total road closures. It is essential that one-to-one contact would be made with alladjacent homes. A blanket leaflet drop is notsufficient. It is equally critical that residents would be forewarned of days when works are expected to be additionally noisy, when dusty activities are due to take place, or when tides might favour working longer hours than proposed. Again, such consultation notably did nottake place during previous closures despite commitments from the contractor. It is also essential that residents would receive adequate notice of any water outages.
Emergency services mustbe effectivelynotified in advance of any future road closures. Our experience heretofore has been that although the central control office of the National Ambulance Service was informed of the road closure, notification did not filter down to the drivers. In the case of this proposed closure, we have been advised by the contractor that direct contact was made before Christmas with the local emergency service office and that they will be provided with weekly updates. However, although similar reassurances have been provided before, during previous total closures we were all beyond lucky that no tragedy resulted from the significant delays experienced when misinformed ambulances did not know how to reach emergency callouts. This proposed Glenbrook closure is for an almost two month period. There can be no room for misinformation or mixed messages.
Experience from previoustotal road closuresin Passage West is that signage is critical. During times of total closure, delivery trucks may attempt to reach Passage West town centre by using either the Lackaroe Road or the back road to the Monastery.Clear signage indicating that thisroad is not suitable for heavy vehicles will be necessary at the bottom of Carrigmahon Hill, at the Rochestown Inn junction, at Monastery Cross and on Church Hill. It is also important that signage on the N28, N40 and at Rochestown would clearly indicate that through traffic into the town centre is possible and that Passage West town centre is indeed open for business.
I have run out of words to describethe condition of the road surface between Raffeen and Glenbrook.Its condition is appalling and deteriorating. Although supposedly temporary, some stretches are in place for almost two years. I have received angry reports from residentswho have had to bear the costs of abnormal repairs to their cars, most particularly to their suspension systems. I have received frustrated communications from cyclists who no longer use the R610 because it has simply become too dangerous for them. This is all as a consequence of the appalling quality of these temporary road surfaces. The temporary surface recently laid in Glenbrook is particularly dreadful. I raised the quality of the Glenbrook surface as an unacceptable issue in my submission to the previous total closure of the R610. I was contacted by a representative of the contractor who addressed each of the points of my submission in turn. The contractor’s representative agreed with my criticism of the temporary surface in Glenbrook, acknowledged that this had been raised as an issue by others also and reassured me that it would be improved. I cannot see any improvement nor that the contractor followed through on this commitment.
The quality of clean-up after both total and partial closures has, to date, been abysmal.The centre of Monkstown village, particularly around the grassy island and Sandquay area remains like a construction site. The soil on the island is rough and full of stones. The area is littered. The road is dirty. The bus stop remains covered with a black plastic sack. The road sign lies in the mud. It is not acceptable. Residents tolerate the construction phase of the project, knowing that it is essential to the installation of the Lower Harbour scheme. It is absolutely unacceptable that any contractual footprint would remain post-construction. It is essential when the works are underway in Glenbrook that the road would be regularly swept, that litter would be cleaned up and that when the works are complete, that the area would be returned to the status quo within a short period of days.
I should appreciate contact from either Cork County Council or the Lower Harbour drainage project team to address my concerns as outlined above. I also expect that the procedures for road closure applications as outlined below and on the County Council’s website would be followed:
“If any observations/objections are received, the applicant will be contacted in this regard and will be required to engage directlywith the Third Party to seek resolution to issues raised.
Once issues have been resolved, the Roads Authority needs written confirmation from the organiser of how objections/observations were addressed. The Roads Authority may also seek confirmation from the Objector/s whether their needs have been satisfactorily addressed ….”
To facilitate direct contact with myself with regard to these proposed closures of the R610 in Passage West, I confirm that I consent to the transfer of this information and my details to the applicant.
Independent Member, Cork County Council
As part of the planning approval for the new three-school campus on the Ballinrea Road, Cork County Council was conditioned to provide a number of improvements to roads in the vicinity. It is starting to do that now in preparation for the schools’ expected opening in January 2020. It has advertised a planning application for road improvements between Carrigcourt and Glenwood to include:
– provision of new footpaths and cycleways
– uncontrolled pedestrian crossings
– junction realignment
– road narrowing and a raised table junction
– set down areas
– new road markings and signs
– installation of public lighting.
It proposes junction realignment at Carrigcourt, Dun Eoin and Glenwood with the installation of traffic calming and alterations to drainage.
The full planning application can be inspected at the Carrigaline Area Office on Church Road or purchased (at a reasonable fee) from Monday 10th December 2018 until Friday 18th January 2019. You can also access it here:
Submissions or Observations with respect to the proposed development may be made in writing to:
Cork County Council,
Regional & Local Road Design Office,
or emailed to: email@example.com
and must reach the Senior Engineer before 4pm on Friday 1st February 2019.
All submissions should be clearly marked “Ballinrea Road Improvement Scheme Part 8”.
In addition, after screening a determination was made that an EIA Report is not required. In accordance with Article 120 (3), as amended by S.I. No. 296 of 2018, a person may, within 4 weeks from the date of the planning notice (7 December 2018), apply to An Bord Pleanála for a screening determination as to whether the development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment. Such a submission should be addressed to the Secretary, An Bord Pleanála, 64, Marlborough Street, Dublin, 1.
The official detail of the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund has arrived! It includes €1.9m towards the purchase of the #PassageWest dockyard and €750k towards development of the #Carrigaline Western Relief Road in Category A projects. Delighted to see that it also includes funding for planning for improvement to the public realm in #Carrigaline as one of the Category B projects. As the biggest town in the county, Carrigaline deserves that.
(Just to refresh, Category A projects are those that can happen immediately. Category B projects are the preparatory steps necessary to enable bigger projects down the line.)
Great to see funding granted to the Port of Cork and to Irish Rail too for projects that should have positive repercussions on the entire Cork area. Wow 😅 You’ll find a link to the funding announcement that came from government at this link: URDF List for Publication 251118
Cork County Council is offering a new fund to communities to improve the range and/or quality of community-based facilities. The Community Development Initiative offers to fund local community small-scale capital projects to a minimum of €1,000 and to a maximum of €25,000 per project. The outcome of this funding is to lead to a better quality of life. The closing date for receipt of applications is 14th December 2018.
The closing date for receipt of applications is 14th December.
The application form and conditions are at the following links:
The following are the projects which have been submitted by Cork County Council for funding under two new government grants, the Urban Regeneration & Development Fund and the Rural Regeneration & Development Fund. The Urban fund is targeted specifically at cities and larger towns in Metropolitan areas. The Rural fund is targeted at towns outside of these areas and with populations of less than 10,000.
Great to see a total of €282,115 being allocated to 59 groups in South Cork for projects they had asked to be funded under the Community Enhancement Programme. This is a fund distributed by the Department of Rural and Community Development and administered by Cork County Council. The groups and projects awarded funding throughout the county are listed in full here: CEP South LCDC Cork County Group amount description Final
Funding was also granted under a specific Men’s Shed Fund to 12 Men’s Sheds in South Cork. The groups, their proposed projects and the funding amounts can all be seen here: SOUTH CORK
Part 8 planning permission has been granted for Cork County Council‘s proposed upgrade of Clarke’s Hill, Rochestown. The Manager’s Report was brought to today’s meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District. Residents had made 22 submissions to the Part 8 consultation. The issues clearly causing most concern are the erection of traffic lights at the Rochestown Road/Clarke’s Hill junction (which works well on a courtesy basis), the excessive use of traffic lights (4 in a little more than 1 km stretch of road), the absence of any cycle lane, the removal of the trees which lend this area its pleasant ambience and the inadequacy of Coach Hill to serve as a relief road for traffic when the upgrade is being constructed.
(Please note that the highlighting is my own done as part of the meeting prep!)
Councillors had many queries and echoed many of the concerns raised by residents at today’s meeting.
The engineers say the traffic lights at the Rochestown Road/Clarke’s Hill junction are essential to provide safe egress to houses opposite Clarke’s Hill. They committed to reviewing the traffic light proposals as part of the detailed design phase. They assure that they have put genuine effort into counting every tree which may be affected by the scheme and will replace where at all possible. They continue to advise against the cycle facilities because installing them would mean additional land take. Also they say the NTA advises not to install a cycle lane where the gradient is more than 5%. (Clarke’s Hill has a gradient of 9%.) And they have indicated their intimate understanding of Coach Hill’s being incorporated into the traffic management part of the construction phase.
The upgrade is necessary but I am especially unhappy about the absence of cycle facilities. It is proposed to install two 2m wide footpaths as part of the scheme, one on either side of the road. I am of the strong opinion that one of these footpaths should be removed to provide a cycle lane for bikes going up Clarke’s Hill. If traffic on Clarke’s Hill increases as part of the M28 scheme (as is predicted), this would be the least we could do to increase safety for all vulnerable road users.
The scheme will now go to full Council for approval.
Irish Water’s application for a licence to close the next stretch of the R610 through #PassageWest will be advertised in tomorrow’s Irish Examiner.
Cork County Council has asked them to divide their licence application into two separate parts as follows:
Part 1 – approximately 40 m adjacent Toureen Terrace (roughly around the inlet area) to be closed for 2 weeks – from 1 – 16 October.
Part 2 – approximately 90m from Toureen Terrace to the comminutor station west of Oysterhaven Boats to be closed for 5 weeks from 22 October to 23 November
In between these two closures, a traffic light, stop-go system will operate along a 90m stretch of Toureen Terrace (roughly the area where there is parking alongside Patrick Murphy Park). This is expected to in place for two weeks. They do not need to apply for a road closure licence for this stretch. This is illustrated here:
These dates may vary and Irish Water has reassured that they have applied for more time than they need so that if they are finished one tranche of work earlier than expected, they can move on to the next.
All the diversion and shuttle bus arrangements as were in place for the past few weeks will be repeated for this coming closure. The Back Road diversion will not be necessary when the stop-go system is in place but it is likely that the shuttles will still operate because the R610 even though open will be constricted.
The Back Road will be unavailable for use as a diversion for the last two weeks of Part 2 of the closure. During this time, Ward & Burke will be laying the sewer in front of the Back Road junction, Oysterhaven Boats and tying it in to the existing sewer that at present runs into the comminutor. That will mean the only alternative route is around the back road to the Monastery. I needn’t describe the complications of that and the Council is well aware of them too. They want Irish Water to coincide one week of that two week period when the Back Road is unavailable with the school mid-term. School shuttle bus arrangements during this (probably week-long) period have yet to be confirmed.
When the road closure licence advertisement appears in tomorrow’s paper, it is likely that submissions will be accepted until 5pm on Wednesday 12 September. As before, these can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irish Water has circulated an information leaflet about the closures and you can read that here:
At a public information session in the PACE Centre this evening, Irish Water clarified that it intends to go ahead with the planned total closure of the R610 at Passage West library on Monday. The closure won’t be implemented until 9.30/10am that first day. Anyone living in the vicinity of the works will have to find parking as close as they can, using the closed road if they have to. If anyone trying to access Dr. Shannon’s or Dr. O’Flynn’s surgery is especially incapacitated, ring Carol Harris (086-1449548) and access will be arranged. They will dig for 90 metres by the library and they will take another 20 metres either side of that for movement of construction machinery.
A representative of Bus Eireann was at this evening’s meeting. He confirmed that the 223 would take the Rochestown Inn – Carrigmahon Hill route and although there may be issues in coinciding with shuttle bus connections, they will work it the best they can. No clear answer yet on private school bus runs but it appears that the Rochestown College bus is considering taking the same Carrigmahon Hill route to the Monastery. Kearney’s is currently inspecting the route to see if it is passable for their double decker. The Douglas Gaelscoil bus is likely to take its usual route but will go from Pembroke Wood to Church Hill via the Back Road/Fair Hill.
Irish Water will monitor the back road to the Monastery to see how bad it gets but they are not committing to traffic management on it. There will be three sets of lights on the Back Road/Fair Hill. Signage at the Rochestown Church roundabout will tell HGVs heading for Passage West/Ringaskiddy to use the N28. They are not to use the local roads.
Irish Water has promised to in future give a full week’s notice of any future meetings or lodging of road closure licence applications. They have committed to funding a decent marketing plan for local businesses. They distributed another information leaflet which you can access here: IW information sheet, 10-08-2018.
There are an additional 7 weeks of closures to come on the Cork Road, 5 of which are full closures. Another 5 weeks of a full closure is expected for Glenbrook – Lucia Place. It is not likely to happen until after Christmas and they will have another meeting about that when the redesign for that stretch is finalised.
Cork County Council has granted Irish Water/Ward & Burke a licence for the total closure of the R610 (Cork Street) to lay a 90 metre stretch of sewer around the Passage West library. The area to be dug is the yellow one in the picture below. It has been granted for 4 weeks.
When this work is complete, the sewer-laying will move into the greenway (green area above) for three weeks. The greenway will not be accessible during this time. Three more road closure applications will be submitted to complete the works on the Cork Road in Passage West. The light blue, pink and grey ones will all be total road closures whilst the dark blue one will be a partial road closure, i.e. single lane flow permitted with lights.
The road closure licence is based on the contractor’s commitment to working 7 days a week and 12 hour days and has the following conditions attached:
1. A public meeting is to be held with all interested stakeholders to give a detailed briefing on the overall plan to complete works in Passage/Glenbrook. No further closures on the R610 will be granted until after this meeting has been held and a full programme of works has been submitted.
2. No road closures will be granted on the R610 after 31st October 2018 to allow Passage West to recover trade for the Christmas season.
3. Any remaining road closures after this date required on the Cork Road or Glenbrook to be planned to coincide with school holidays/mid term breaks.
4. Working Hours to be agreed with Area Office prior to road closure.
5. Full width road reinstatement is required for the full extent of this and all future road closure applications required for the completion of the works.
6. A road opening licence must be applied for to cover the planned works.
7. Traffic lights are to be used on the L2475 (Back road) outside of contractors working hours. During working hours traffic on the road is to be controlled using a Stop go system.
8. The applicant will need to survey the L2475 (Back road) to assess any areas of overhanging branches/hedges that may impact on traffic and any areas of hedge cutting/verge cutting as required for road safety / sight distance at junctions and these are to to be cut back as necessary subject to compliance with Wild Life Act and land owners agreement. This needs to be done before the road closure is put in place. This is to be monitored at regular intervals during the road closure.
9. The applicant is to put in place a system to regularly monitor the L2475 surface condition during the closure. If there are potholes on the route these are to be repaired immediately during the closure period.
10. The applicant will need to put in place a daily check system to ensure the road condition and signage in place on both the official diversion route and local routes are in order.
11. No HGV’s are to use the L2475 (Back road). Signage to be put in place signifying route for HGV’s.
12. Full engagement with Businesses in Passage West to assist with difficulties in trading associated with this Closure. This is to include advertisements in Local press/Social media as well as agreed signage.
13. Provide details of the revised bus arrangements for the Passage West service including revised routes and shuttle bus arrangements. Confirmation of engagement with Bus Eireann should be provided at least one week before closure to begin.
They have also organised a public information session tonight, 10th August, 6.30-8.30pm at the PACE Centre, Passage West. It is expected to address both further details of arrangements during the upcoming closure and an overview of the future total closures that may be expected both on Cork Street and in Glenbrook.
The Cork Education and Training Board (CETB) has a brand new centre at Herons Wood, Carrigline which has excellent facilities and is offering a range of courses for the 2018/19 academic year. All are detailed on the course brochure which you will find at the following link:
RE: Objection to the application made to Cork County Council for the temporary closing of the R610, Passage West for construction of a foul sewer pipe from 06.00 h Monday 13thAugust 2018 to 06.00 h Friday 7thSeptember 2018 (24 hour closure), Toureen House – Passage West library
The following petition was sent from the people of Passage West and Monkstown to Cork County Council in objection to the application for the temporary closing of the R610, Passage West for construction of a foul sewer pipe from 06.00 h Monday 13thAugust 2018 to 06.00 h Friday 7thSeptember 2018 (24 hour closure), Toureen House – Passage West library.
Because of the short time period allowed for submissions, this petition was available for signing in the town centres of Passage West and Monkstown for only 24 hours. Nonetheless, even in that short time, it allowed 688 people the opportunity to express their objection to the proposed total road closure. The reason for that objection was set out in the cover page:
Although we are a harbourside town and we welcome the cleaning up of Cork Harbour, this is the second time within a month that total closure of the R610 has been proposed to facilitate the installation of sewers. The first time, the proposed closure was from Glenbrook – Lucia Place for a period of two months. We strongly opposed it and it was withdrawn. A rethink was promised. This proposed closure is the first part of what would be an even longer closure of the Cork Road. We equally vehemently oppose this proposed road closure.
The combination of total road closures proposed for the Cork Road would seriously impinge on the everyday lives of residents and would have a catastrophic impact on the viability of businesses, particularly in Passage West town centre.
The combination of total road closures proposed for the Cork Road is likely to be even longer than that previously proposed for Glenbrook – Lucia Place.
No information has been presented on the expected Glenbrook – Lucia Place closure. It is impossible for businesses and residents to evaluate the full impact of these proposed total road closures unless they are presented holistically. The likely reality is that the two total road closures could span a collective 4 – 6 months.
The impact of any prolonged total road closure on business is far longer than the period of the closure itself. What is proposed in these road closures would close several businesses in Passage West town centre entirely and would catastrophically impact on all others.
There is much concern that the advertised 18 km alternative route for emergency vehicles could place lives and property at risk.
The 223 is the only public bus route through Passage West/Monkstown. The alternative proposed shuttle bus arrangements are unsatisfactory and would prohibit the bus from use as a reliable form of transport.
The alternative route identified involves travelling the temporary road surface laid by Ward & Burke from Monkstown through Raffeen to the N28. Its poor quality has a costly and detrimental effect on vehicles.
Neither the surface nor the width of our local roads could accommodate the diverted local traffic which would inevitably use them to avoid the 18 km advertised alternative route.
Many working in the Ringaskiddy Strategic Employment Area commute through Passage West/Monkstown so as to avoid congestion on Carr’s Hill.The impact on the wider road network of forcing all commuting traffic through the Shannonpark roundabout has not been considered.
A total road closure such as is being suggested for the R610 through Passage West would effectively shut down any town and is an entirely unprecedented proposal.
For over a year we have lived with significant inconvenience to accommodate the laying of sewers. We have tolerated the inconvenience because we understand the benefits of the Lower Harbour drainage scheme. Our town cannot withstand the burden of what is now proposed. We need more time so that businesses can employ expert engineering and legal advice. We need Ward and Burke/Ervia to use every resource to achieve real reductions in the length of time for which these total closures are proposed. Failing those deliverables, we call for Ervia/Irish Water to return to the planning process to seek approval for an alternative route by which the sewer can be brought through Passage West – a route that will keep the R610 open.
County Council‘s Municipal Districts Creative Communities Scheme 2018 is open for applications.
The Creative Communities Scheme will provide €150,000 funding to support the development of new community based arts projects, encouraging community groups to work with arts organisations and individual artists to develop arts and cultural projects at local level. The scheme aims to promote access to the arts and to increase public participation and involvement in creative activity.
In accordance with Section 25 of the Taxi Regulation Act, as amended, Cork County Council proposes to make Bye Laws for the creation and regulation of appointed stands in Douglas County Cork.
A copy of the draft Bye Laws is available for inspection at Floor 5, County Hall; Council Offices in Carrigaline and Douglas Library during normal working hours until 20th July 2018. A copy of the draft Bye-Laws can be obtained from the Council Office on Floor 5 County Hall. The draft bye-laws are also available at this link:
Ward and Burke are proposing two complete road closures in #PassageWest. The first is to lay the sewer in the road from Glenbrook Wharf – Lucia Place during July/August and the second is to lay it from the Town Hall – Oysterhaven Boats (ish) during September/October. They say they need these closures to lay the sewer. In addition to this, Ward and Burke already have permission to close the Back Road for July and other partial closures between Passage West, Glenbrook and Monkstown.
The presentation given by Ward & Burke to councillors on these proposed complete road closures is here:
The first road closure was advertised today. Because it will have a significant effect on businesses, residents and travel, there is much concern about it. The only opportunity to have these concerns heard and worked around is to make a submission to the road closure application. A petition outlining those concerns has been distributed to the businesses today and will be collected on Tuesday for forwarding to Cork County Council. The text of that petition is here:
You can make your own submission to Cork County Council if you wish by emailing email@example.com or by writing to Director of Services, Roads & Transportation, Cork County Council, The Courthouse, Skibbereen, Co. Cork. The closing date for receipt of submissions is Wednesday, 20th June. There is no fee for making the submission.
This morning (31st May 2018), An Bord Pleanála granted Indaver Ireland planning permission to build an incinerator in Ringaskiddy to burn 240,000 tonnes of hazardous and non-hazardous waste each year. This is the third planning application from Indaver for an incinerator on this site. Each time, the people of Cork Harbour have fought to keep Indaver out of Cork Harbour. Each time, against all odds, they have won. This below is the link to today’s grant of planning from the Board. In doing so, they followed a trend of overturning the recommendation of their Senior Planning Inspector. Every Planning Inspector who has scrutinised this or any of the previous planning applications has said that this is the wrong site for an incinerator.
I was so honoured and grateful to be asked to Scoil Barra Naofa, Monkstown today to raise their fifth Green Flag. They were awarded this flag for more than a year of work on learning about, talking about and encouraging biodiversity. It follows on their previous Green Flag achievements for Waste, Energy, Travel/Transport and Water. The following is (more or less!) the little speech I gave to the wonderfully attentive children:
Rowan View Developments applied for planning permission to build a 3 storey apartment development on the green beside Doodlebugs in Pembroke Wood. The County Council granted permission for the development. At the request of the Residents Association, I appealed the development to An Bord Pleanála on 15th May. The text of my appeal is at the link below:
The Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District is offering its Streetscape Painting & Signage Scheme this year again. The scheme is focused at Passage West, Douglas and Ringaskiddy this year, although applications from Carrigaline and Ballincollig will also be considered. The scheme offers all of last year’s benefits with a few more added. You will find the grant application form and guidelines at the following link. Apply before 1st June to get priority.
Creative Ireland is a 5-year government policy which is about mainstreaming creativity into everyday life so that we can all benefit, individually, as a community and nationally.
The two grant schemes announced by Cork County Council are for creative projects that meet the aims of Creative Ireland. The first scheme is for creative projects generally whilst the second is for pop-up shops in vacant buildings.