Notes from the March meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Muncipal District (21-03-2016)

1.  Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 15th February 2016.

Matters Arising:

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): The MDO said that he would seek further information on the taking in charge of Pembroke Wood. Wondering has that been done?
Is there any update on the sale of the convent in Passage West?
We spoke about the grasscutting in Pinecroft two meetings ago. Wondering when this will be done?
At the last meeting, the Area Office committed to sign cleaning. When will this be starting?
The one way system proposed for Fairy Hill/Chapel Hill in Monkstown – when will this be advertised and could we be notified when it is please?
Cllr Forde proposed in a motion that TII would come before our Municipal; District as they did before the City Councillors to give an update on the Demand Management Study for the N40. We agreed to write and request this update. Any response?
Finally, when will the public consultation on the casual trading bye-laws begin and could we please be notified of same?

Area Engineer: Is looking at the rotas for grasscutting now. Hopes to start it within the next month.
The sign cleaning has begun. It started with Carrigaline and is continuing on to Douglas this week. So it is underway. We are prioritising urban centres and will then catch up on the areas in between.
The recommendation for the advertising/public consultation on the proposed one-way system in Monkstown is currently being done.

South Cork Manager: The causal trading bye-laws have not been advertised yet but he will confirm when they are.

MDO: No response from the solicitors on the taking in charge of Pembroke Wood.
There have been preplanning discussions in relation to the content of a planning application for the convent but no planning application has been submitted yet.
We wrote to TII but got no response.

Chair: Suggests we write to TII again asking them to attend.

Cllr McGrath (FF) reminds that we want a report on the dog fouling bins. We need consistency on this. There should at least be consistency on dedicated walkways.

2.  Consideration of Reports and Recommendations

Municipal District Programme of Works 2016

Speed Limit Review
Programme of works report will be discussed at the April meeting.

Speed limit review:
Report – Speed Limit Changes Requests.xls

The report circulated is primarily for information purposes. If there are any other areas for inclusion, submit them as quickly as possible. The process is that the gardaí have to be consulted, then it will go to public consultation and then it reverts to the Council.

Everything that is passed forms part of the Road Traffic Bye Laws.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): The speed limit request for the R610 approaching Harbour Heights – could that be incorporated into traffic calming around the entrance to Roberts Bridge as I had requested some months ago?

AE: Yes, that would be the intention.

3.  General Municipal Allocation/Town Development Fund

2016 Allocations – Circulated.  (Published below on this website.)

4.  Chun na Ruin so leanas ón gComhairleoir a mheas:

To consider the following Notice of Motion in the name of:

 Cllr. D Forde:
1.  “Residents in West Avenue Parkgate request the engineer to reinstate the surface of the road and footpaths in the estate where there are large potholes. It is requested works carried out by a utility company where it is claimed reinstatements are very poor. Parking for wheelchair users was not reinstated also.”

 AE: West Avenue is on the roads programme. Most of the areas that are very badly damaged with potholes will be dealt with. The ESB were in there last year. Most of the works were on the green. They wouldn’t have been able to do full reinstatement because of the weather. We will be ensuring that they do it now. Wasn’t aware of the wheelchair place issue.


 Cllr. D O’Donnabhain:
1.  “That this Municipal District would carry out a review of parking arrangements at the western car park of the Regional Park. Such a review should examine the adequacy of parking for wheelchair accessible and those with disabled parking permits and also the adequacy of signage indicating additional parking at the Allotments car park.”

Chair (Cllr O’Donnabhain (FF)): Cars were parking in the disabled spaces or in such a way that easy access to them was prohibited. The car park in the allotments would be no more than one third fall but the other one is bursting at the seams.

MDO: The Regional Park is suffering from its own success. It is very difficult. People don’t listen to the staff there. There’s a central area that’s lined off and they can try to do more lining but people tend to park nilly willy.

Cllr Canty (FG): Understands this frustration. We relined the car park and did everything possible but it is still very difficult.

Cllr Forde (FG): Can cars not abiding by the parking rules not be ticketed?

MDO: Thinks staff might have done this on some cars but that is not easy either. We are staff restricted. It is mostly gardening staff there. It’s just a pity people can’t behave decently. The car park is too small. People prefer to use this one and even though it was expanded by 30 – 40 places last year, it still cannot cope. Maybe when the toilets go into the Inishmore car park, it will become more popular.

Cllr O’Donnabhain (FF): The western car park is at its physical limits. You could only expand it further by spending lots of money and that would not be in its interest. Its overflowing is now causing problems on the public road. If we could use signage to encourage people to use the Inishmore car park, it might help.

Cllr Canty (FG): We have 3 car parks serving the Regional Park, not two. We just need to educate people. We’re tarmacking one strip of path through the woods.

2.  “That this Municipal District welcomes the announcement of a public toilet for the Regional Park at the Allotments car park. In welcoming the decision this Municipal District calls for during the months of May to September for the provision of temporary ‘portaloo’s’ at a secure location at or near the Western car park.”

MDO: Costs of doing this are outlined in the response to the motion. We just don’t have this sort of money.

Cllr. S McGrath:
1.  “To ask the Engineer to investigate possible measures to slow traffic in the vicinity of the Educate Together Primary Schools Carrigaline.”

 Cllr McGrath (FF): Put this motion on the agenda after receiving contact from the school. The school regularly gets complaints from parents. Knows there are roadworks around in the vicinity but also cars go very quickly there. Looking for some form of traffic calming – strips, signage, etc.

AE: We haven’t received a single complaint to the Area Office. We have in relation to the Ferney Road but not in relation to the Relief Road. There are footpaths on the Relief Road and there is a controlled crossing. It is not suitable for anything other than extra signs. There are signs indicating that there is a school there. What we can do is limited. Is genuinely surprised that we haven’t got any complaints.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Will ask the principal to send an email with more details directly to yourself.

2.  “To ask the Engineer to consider a yellow junction box at the entrance to Clifton, Grange.”

 AE: We will be looking at road markings in the vicinity of the Clifton junction. Every estate wants the yellow box at their junction. We all have this problem and it is not the overall solution. Grange Road is an extremely busy road. Understood the complaint was that the speed on the road was making it difficult to get out. A yellow box will do nothing for that. We want to see if we can assist from a visibility point of view.

3.  “To ask the Engineer to examine the problem of subsidence on the roads in Dunvale Estate, specifically Dunvale Lawn.”

Cllr McGrath (FF): The road is collapsing in places.

(I lost the thread of the conversation here!)

Cllr. M D’Alton:
1.  “That the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District deeply regrets the sale of the Royal Victoria Dockyard, Passage West by NAMA for a dock-related purpose. Equally, that the members of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal District deeply regret that Cork County Council did not pursue purchase of the Dockyard with a view to returning it to public use.”

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): I brought this motion to the Chamber to do just what it says. To try to express how devastated I am and the Passage West community is that the Passage West dockyard has been sold for what we believe is continued dock use. When it was put up for sale, I asked could I put a motion on the full Council agenda, requesting that Cork County Council would purchase it. I was advised not to, because if word got out that the Council was interested in purchasing something, the price would go up. That made sense, so I withdrew the motion. But I gave a presentation to the CE, a presentation of photographs showing what the dockyard was, what it is now and what it could become. It is an amazing site on the foreshore and it offers wonderful opportunities, for heritage, for recreation. As it stands currently, its impact on the town is devastating. It is makes the town centre dark, narrow, it completely cuts it off from the sea and the activities carried on there are noisy and dusty.   I even contacted the European Commission to see whether funding would be available for its rehabilitation and redevelopment. The CE was gracious but having had discussions with management, decided that the price was too high. They felt that development on the site could be controlled by conditions attached to a planning permission. I continued to make contact with the receiver, trying to ascertain whether interest in the sale was for development or for dock-related purposes. But I could never get a straight answer. Now I am told by the auctioneer that the site is sale agreed. The receiver will not even return my phone calls. We wrote to NAMA, didn’t we? We told them how important this dockyard is to the town of Passage West. And I just want to put on public record how absolutely and utterly devastated I am that this once in a lifetime opportunity for a sale of this dockyard from one public body to another public body – an opportunity that will never come again in my time or yours – has been completely and utterly missed. It is just devastating for the town of Passage West. I cannot adequately express how devastating it is.

Cllr Murphy (SF): Supports what Cllr D’Alton has said. Thinks anything is good enough for Passage. No-one consults the residents.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Supports Cllr D’Alton’s sentiments in relation to the site. Very regrettable that the site was on the market and the opportunity is lost. The sale is not quite confirmed but almost. There was an opportunity there. Also raised the issue with the CE. The view was that the cost was prohibitive. But an opportunity like this doesn’t come along too often. There were various options in terms of the cultural history of Passage West, etc. It appears now that the opportunity is lost.

Cllr Harris (Ind): It is outrageous that NAMA and Cork County Council could not negotiate on the transfer of this asset. In reality, the state is going to lose a lot of money over it. There still might be time if it is not closed. With all the reps we have here, parties with Ministers in government, it is appalling that this could happen. Why couldn’t they have put pressure on NAMA?

Manager: The site was on the market. It was for sale by NAMA. The CE felt the sale was prohibitive and that would not have been the end of the expense. The zoning sets out what the Members of the previous Council felt would have been appropriate use for the site.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Thanks everyone for the support and particularly thanks Cllr Harris for what he has said. The site was sold to Howard Holdings for €25 million ten years ago. Now the asking price is €2.75 million. Relatively, it was not expensive. That’s a massive loss that the taxpayer is now carrying.

Cllr Harris (Ind): NAMA has a special responsibility. They have sold land to the GAA because it was viewed as longer-term value to the State that way. This is being penny wise and pound foolish. We lose a prime asset; the purchaser might sell it on in 5 years time for €20 million. This has been a disaster from a financial point of view.

Manager: The Council’s position is as set out. The views of the Members will be communicated to the CE.

Cllr McGrath (FF): NAMA would have to shift its value for the site for the CE to become interested. NAMA’s community benefit aspects have not been really tested. Suggests we get in contact with NAMA.

Manager: Members can make any decision they wish. The CE considered this and it is not going to change.

Cllr Harris (Ind): NAMA has been remiss in not selling to Cork County Council. You could pay €2.5 m over 20 years if the will is there to do it. They just don’t give a damn – get it off the books. This is for the next 50/100 years. The return to the exchequer has been totally mishandled. We should contact NAMA and the Minister and see could we exert political pressure. We talk about strategic plans for the harbour, etc. There we have it staring us in the face. The most strategic property available.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Cllr Harris is absolutely correct. Can we contact NAMA and ask that they do not sell this dockyard now? We would do better to have it in NAMA ownership so that it could at least be sold for development when the market lifts. It would give a better return to the exchequer too.

Manager: We don’t have a role in this. We would like to have a role but we don’t.

Cllr Harris (Ind): Can we take an injunction?

Manager: That isn’t open as an option. Acquisition of property is an executive function, not a reserved function. It supports strategic plans that the Members make.

Cllr McGrath (FF): Agrees with Cllr D’Alton wrt contacting NAMA. We can pass a resolution as a Municipal District. We also need to send our request to the Minister for Finance. Our only hope there is that it might make it accessible to the Council.

Cllr Murphy (SF): Thought we were writing to NAMA before about this site?

Manager: The County Council cannot write to NAMA interfering with a property sale in this way. It is totally outside our remit.

Cllr D’Alton (Ind): I understand that the CE and executive took a decision not to buy. I understand that NAMA has no remit to me, a public representative. But I as a public representative have a remit to my electorate. That is my job. And they are the people in Passage West who will have to live with this sale and have to pay for the cost being carried by the taxpayer.

Manager: If Members want to contact NAMA they will have to set out the wording carefully and be clear it does not reflect the opinion of the CE or the executive.

Agreed that Cllr D’Alton would word a letter to go to NAMA and circulate it to the other Members and to the executive for agreement.

Manager: Nothing will go without its being seen by the CE.

5.  Votes of Congratulations


6.  Any Other Business

 Cllr D’Alton (Ind): Car parking spaces in front of electric car charging points. Are these marked out by the County Council or by the ESB? There is need for one in front of the electric charging point in the Owenabue car park.
Also many of the locks on the litterbins in Passage West/Monkstown are broken so that the doors of the bins are swinging open onto the footpath. They have been broken for a long time and I have brought this up several times with the Area Office. I understand a simple replacement of the locks will not suffice; the bin itself must be replaced. Bringing it up here because there is no move on it.
When will we have the derelict sites report we were told in December would come to the MD meetings?
Where did the Litter Management Plan go? We were presented with a draft plan for this Municipal District in January 2015 but it still hasn’t gone to public consultation.
The old town signs at the entrance to Passage West, Rochestown and Raffeen have been stolen. It is very sad. The Passage West one was beautifully painted and we were very proud of it.

Manager: Hopes to have a derelict sites report at the April meeting.
The Litter Management Plan was to have been adopted at Municipal District level but it became clear that there was a need for a county-wide litter management plan with specific objectives at MD level. We’re going to look at it again. It will come to members at full Council level.

AE: Believes the marking of car parking spaces in front of the electric charging points is the responsibility of the ESB. Will speak to the ESB about the Owenabue car park.
Was not aware of the litterbins issue and will follow it up.
Is aware of the loss of the old town signs and the Area Office plans to replace them.

Cllr Desmond (FF): Would like an update please on public lighting in Lehenaghbeg?

AE: This is in the hands of the ESB. Spoke to them last week. They say they are still under pressure after the storms around Christmas time.

Cllr Harris (Ind): Bins in Douglas, especially outside Centra. Can we have more put in?

Cllr McGrath (FF): The N40 screening that was proposed was never done. Can we agree to write to the TII and enquire about it?
Work was recently completed at Cogan’s Corner. The drains in the vicinity haven’t been cleaned. If you could follow up? This work was done to a high standard and traffic management was quite good.
The community park was in a dreadful state on Saturday. Knows it isn’t easy but there is virtually no enforcement of the litter laws. If we don’t have boots on the ground we are going nowhere.
Footpath in part of Ringaskiddy. Priest’s Avenue – Ferryview side – there is no footpath on that side of the road. There is a pole standing there with no sign. Looks a little neglected. Has had a request for a footpath. Asks that AE the would look at it.

It was agreed that we would hold a special meeting on the last Friday in April (29th April) to talk about the Local Area Plan.