1. Confirmation of Minutes
To consider the confirmation and signing of the Minutes of the Draft Budgetary Meeting and Ordinary Meeting held on 19th October 2015
Cllr D’Alton: Had asked for details of spending in the municipal district during 2015 so that we could compare it to what is proposed in the draft budget for 2016.
MDO said he has sent details of this on. Cllr D’Alton said she would check again.
Cllr McGrath: Knows that it is only a month since it was requested, but is there any chance the trees on the Lower Kilmoney Road could be cut soon? Were there any further applications to the paint scheme?
Cllr Forde: Could we have an update on Pinecroft?
Area Engineer: The trees will be done as soon as possible and hopes for early next week. Works will be going on in Pinecroft which will be the first step in alleviating some of the pressure in the storm water system. There is a blockage close to the outfall. Will be starting work there early next week. Once the blockage is cleared we will have further scope to do more investigation in the surface water line. Weather is against us in the grasscutting. The fence will be dealt with as part of the storm water works. The graffiti will be dealt with this week or next week.
MDO: One or two people did make contact with regard to the paint scheme. Doesn’t know if there were any submissions.
Minutes were proposed and seconded.
2. Consideration of Reports and Recommendations:
- Local Area Plan Review Briefing on the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District Preliminary Consultation Document
Padraig Moore (Planning Policy Unit):
- Planning policy unit is working on consultation documents. They are not finalised yet. They will be ready to go to preliminary public consultation on 14th
- We will need to adjust growth targets for Ballinora and Waterfall because there is not adequate water infrastructure for what is planned.
Went through presentation: BCMD LAP Briefing
Cllr Forde: Thanks officials. Sending this it out for public consultation between December and January is somewhat pointless. All the areas have their own particular issues. Current proposals for upgrade of N28 need to be taken into account. The planning policy unit should see what the outcome of this public consultation is. These proposed changes will affect over 20,000 people on a daily basis.
Town centre vacancy in Douglas is a big problem. We need a strategic plan for it. There is no one person who is charged with pushing the agenda to fill vacancies in urban areas. This is vital. These reviews of LAPs are too far apart to have a meaningful impact on these issues at local level. Suggests MDO should have a role here in this. Perhaps the economic development unit could be involved. Call these urban areas strategic development zones and give them priority.
There is no reference to dereliction in relation to house building and the supply of houses. This has to find its way into LAP discussions on housing requirements.
South City Environs – stop referring to Douglas as this. Douglas gets lost if you use this term. There is then no focus on Douglas.
Cllr McGrath (FF): Thanks officials. This outline strategy appears to be far more detailed than it was the last time the LAPs were being drafted. Knows it is a non-statutory phase of consultation but welcomes this detail.
Carrigaline is a town divided between two municipal districts. It is a crazy sitaution but the approach to including the entire town in the LAPs for both Ballincollig-Carrigaline and Bandon-Kinsale is the only sensible one.
Passage West – zoning of several areas. This should be looked at. We need to carefully consider the southern area that is proposed for development. Welcomes proposals for urban design and public realm enhancement.
Shares concerns about the N28. Never saw a public consultation like it.
The desigation of Douglas should indeed be clear. Where does Ringaskiddy fit in? It is not listed as a village. Presumes Monkstown is coming in under Passage.
Cllr Collins: These preliminary documents are more focused and detailed than they were the last time. Surprised to see consideration being given to identifying lands on what is at present a green belt.
The town centre strategy for the village of Carrigaline: we have attempted this in the past. Lands to the west are on a flood plain. This has come against us in the past. So we must look carefully at the flood studies.
Cllr D’Alton: There is much to contribute for each settlement and will make these comments in a submission. But would like the LAP review to take cognisance of several overarching points.
Wants there to be a focus on dereliction throughout the LAPs. There is dereliction in all the urban centres. Needs to be coupled with infill development.
Wants there to be a focus on green modes of transport between all urban centres but in particular between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy. Ironic that the briefing document mentions the need for more sustainable transport between Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy several times but when one asks Bus Eireann for a bus link between the two towns, we are told there is no demand.
Traffic congestion is massive in this municipal district. Wants there to be a focus in the LAP on how this congestion might be best managed and relieved. Agree with the former comments on the N28.
Wants the green belt to be regarded as sacrosanct. This is a very built up municipal district with massive population. The green belt is the only place where people can breathe.
Agrees with Cllr Forde about vacancy in Douglas but this is relevant to many of the urban centres. Wants LAP to have an over-arching strategy on vacancy which can then be implemented in each of the urban centres.
Wants clear aims for the Tramore Valley Park. We have a regional park in Ballincollig which serves an immediate population of 20,000 people. But between Douglas, Carrigaline, Togher, etc. we have a population of well more than that in the immediate vicinity of the Tramore Valley Park. It needs to be another regional park for the south side of this municipal district.
Finally, appreciates the LAP is a plan and appreciates that a lot of work goes into its preparation. But it needs to move from plan to reality. Reads some passages relating to Passage West from the 2011 LAP. All the same points we are talking about now are in the 2011 LAP but haven’t been implemented. Not a criticism but we need to make more of an effort in this LAP towards implementation.
Padraig Moore: There may be a requirement for additional residential land in Carrigaline. We’re just putting it out there. We’ve done no analysis yet. There may not be any such requirement.
Cllr Collins: There was a farm sold last year which had been idle for the last few years. Was bought by a builder. Could provide 2,500 houses if it were developed. We already have the area at Shannonpark designated for development. My understanding was that Shannonpark would be sufficient. The idea of providing additional lands would put unbearable pressure on existing inadequate infrastructure. You will no doubt get submissions from owners of this land.
PM: The flooding situation hasn’t changed. The town centre of Carrigaline is badly affected by flooding. We’ll see what the new flood data says. There are still lands and opportunity sites outside the area at risk of flooding.
Agrees dereliction is an important consideration. Agrees it is in every town centre.
It is a policy to consider green modes of travel everywhere. This is a national policy but trying to implement it across the board is more difficult.
Agrees that traffic congestion is a signficant issue. We’ll have to see what we can do. The LAP will be sent for consultation to the statutory bodies and hopefully they will have something to say about this.
Notes comments on the green belt. Will be getting submissions from all sides on this.
Agrees about Tramore Valley Park. Most of it is in the City! Acknowleges that the Vernon Mount side is in the county. Accessing Council lands of the park is an issue that could be examined.
Notes the request to move away from flowery language of the former plans.
Cllr D’Alton: Not the language that is the problem. It is the fact that the aims are all there but they never go past being a plan. If we could somehow put more emphasis on ways by which these aims could be implemented. We elected reps will help in whatever way we can.
Cllr Canty: There is a castle on the south side of Ballincollig town. It was previously agreed that 8 hectares around it would be sacrosanct. This was a commitment. Knows a lot of developers have been looking at it. Please retain these 8 hectares. They are sacrosanct to Ballincollig. In the town centre, knows the two derelict sites PM is speaking about. Both sites are ripe for development.
Chair: Employment/business/industry in Ballincollig. Please identify lands in Ovens to which you refer. Traffic and transport is also a concern. Agrees with Cllr D’Altojn about plans not always becomign a reality. There was a planned greenway through Ballincollig at one point. It hasn’t succeeded. We need to marry the old objectives with the new proposed here. Believes the NTA will be carrying out a survey on traffic/transport in Ballincollig. This could be incorporated into the new LAP and in this way, the old could be married with the new.
There is talk locally about a community centre. Educational facilities are inadequate. Colaiste Cholm is bursting at the seams. It is the second largest secondary school in the country.
PM: The castle is within the X01 site and this will be subject to a framework masterplan which will feed into the LAP. Comments about needing to protect the castle will be incorporated into this.
Lands in Ovens will be identified on a map in the document.
The impact of traffic and transportation will be a key component of assessment of the X0 site. Consultants are being appointed to look at this.
Understands that a community hall is a key consideration. Will be looking forward to submissions on that. Similarly education facilities. We just want to propose things and encourage people to respond. We would hope the Department will come back and respond with the need for facilities too. The Department of Education is actually quite good as a statutory consultee.
Ross Palmer (Planning Policy Unit): We are doing the Masterplan for the X01 site which includes the castle. Part of the Masterplan will include a regional model working with Peter O’Donoghue (Transportation Section). We are writing a terms of reference for slotting these masterplans into a regional model. We want to understand the traffic problems that wil be generated from these land uses that have a masterplan focus.
- Update on the Local Economic Community Plan (LECP) development process
Pio Condon (Planning Policy Unit):
- We will be presenting a draft of the LECP for consideration early in the new year. There will be another public consultation again.
- The LECP project came from guidelines that were issued by government in January. These arose from the Local Government Reform Act. These ask local authorities to coordinate the delivery of public policy at local level. Cork County Council finds itself in a multi-disciplinary partnership. Cork County Council is to give leadership. The Action Plan for Jobs had 255 actions but this is one small subset of this plan.
- We produced a background document to ask people what mattered to them. We asked members of the public, economic experts and stakeholders, community groups. Sent out >1200 invitations to consult. Undertook a quality of life survey. We don’t want the plan to be a literature review of existing plans. We want it to be a Cork narrative about what matters with respect to Cork and the direction we think we would like Cork to go.
- We want to give the voice to the people – the people that know best.
- From our consultation, 92% of people from Cork think Cork is great.
- Cork residents are very happy with what Cork has to offer as regards quality of life. There are obviously marginalised groups within that but the bigger picture is that Cork is doing well socially and economically. We don’t have comparable surveys to look at nationally but we would say that it is very good.
- But there are significant economic and social challenges to that quality of life coming down the line. We want to identify what these potential challenges are. So we need to debate population, income levels, the type of employemnt we attract, age dependency, infrastructure (physical and socia), family, community, health. We find ourselves in a very interesting space.
- As an organisation working with other organisations and public agencies, we want to align their focus around what we as an authority represent. We hope to present these findings and perhaps additional areas of focus, e.g. family, community, etc. and ask those questions.
- The Plan does distill down to one page – a list of priorities for the people. What matters to you economically, socially and personally? We then try to align the organisations that deliver these things to what matters to you.
Cllr Collins: Pity this didn’t happen much longer ago. Great to see other organisations engaging. Great for people to see that we are taking the lead in what matters to people.
Cllr Forde: Was at a meeting of the committee of the regions recently. There was a distinct concern at EU level that there will be so many people over 65 in our population. Our demographics are changing totally. The local enterprise office was offering training for >65’s. Thinks we could adapt that to this plan at Cork County Council level.
PC: We are preparing this LECP in the absence of a national planning framework. So this is a great opportunity for Cork to have the conversation regionally first and use the results of this conversation to influence national developments.
Demographics are incredibly important economically. The reason perhaps that we felt such a bang from the boom is that we had a younger population relative to the rest of Europe. Whatever money came in we didn’t sepnd it all on services, whereas other economies did, which in turn serviced the rest of society.
- Report on Tenders received to operate Douglas Pay Parking system
MDO: One tender was received. This was analysed. There was one query which has now been responded to. The contract is not awarded yet. Should be resolved in the next couple of weeks.
Cllr McGrath: Raised a query before about reducing the number of parking warden hours. There is no need for 60 hours of parking warden time. Have we flexibility on this? Raised this at the budget meeting and the CE indicated that he would take the point on board.
MDO: The number of hours is being looked at. Have circulated a briefing on the parking arrangements for Christmas. Will do similar arrangements this year to those of last year.
Cllr Desmond: The signs that are on the machines are tiny. Can we get better signage on the machines?
MDO: Agrees that bigger signs will be purchased.
3. Casual Trading draft Bye-Laws:
South Cork Manager: Members looked for another month to consider this after the last meeting. This will be a schedule of potential casual trading areas put out for public consultation. It doesn’t meant that they will be the fiinal areas.
MDO: Only got one submission on the list and this related to Passage West. Are members happy with the suggested list?
Cllr Collins: There are queries about the grant of these permits coming from the proposed use of the Owenabue car park as a casual trading area. Are they renewed every year? Who decides who gets the permits? Are they open ended, i.e. will the same space be available all the time? The walkway has had one operator for the last two years. Will this area no longer be functioning as a casual trading area? Will it allow for others to go in beside him?
Cllr McGrath (FF): We don’t know what the other municipal district is doing and that is a concern. Each side needs to be mindful of what the other is proposing. In general, has some concerns about the level of control we have in relation to the permits. Spoke before on potential chip van issues if we designate the Owenabue car park. They bring litter. Asks the Manager to describe what the role of the members is in terms of permits issued.
Manager: Permits issued depend on the number of spaces designated for casual trading. If two spaces are designated in the Owenabue car park, then only two permits will be issued. If the members’ intention is to designate spaces, it should be on the expectation that someone wants to trade there. Thinks we should not include a location if there is no current demand for trading there. On the walkway trade: envisages a single space being designated in the walkway car park. If a designation for a casual trading area is made, it should also be accompanied by a time and a day. For example, there is a market in Macroom. But market days are the only days for which the traders’ permits are issued.
Cllr D’Alton: Sent a submission about both Passage West and Ringaskiddy. Want to check that this was received. Trader on the Rochestown Road. Trades all over the city. We turn a blind eye during the summer although he is selling outside of the exempted regulations. These allow growers to sell new potatoes or berries – their own produce. But the trader was operating last week on the Rochestown Road. The Casual Trading Act allows him to operate between May and September inclusive. This is well outside of the Act. Also, we can’t grow new potatoes and berries in Ireland in November. So he is not selling his own produce either. If we can’t control this sort of activity, what is the point in Casual Trading By-laws at all?
Manager: This sort of sale goes on all during the summer. We havne’t the resources to come down the heavy on these sellers. But when we introduce the Casual Trading By-Laws, it will allow us to control sellers that operate outside of the law.
Cllr Canty: We have similar problems in Ballincollig with someone who has been trading in the same car parking spot for the past 20 years. We have a country market also coming on to the plaza of the shopping centre. This trader sells fish also and now the traders say the fish smell is coming through the doors of their shops. Thinks this will be an issue.
Manager: If there is no objection to someone trading for 20 years in Ballincollig without the benefit of a licence, then it should be done with the benefit of a licence. Recommends that this space the trader uses would be designated with certain hours. If members think this is not the appropriate place, then suggest somewhere else.
Cllr Collins: Thinks there may be no demand in Carrigaline for trading spots. The only time a trader has come into the main street is a chipper van after New Year. Leaves a load of rubbish. Has no trouble with the coffee dock that is operating on the walkway.
Manager: Don’t designate any casual trading area in Carrigaline if that is what you think is right.
MDO: Licences are issued annually. The municipal district has to be tax-compliant, etc. We have to report to Revenue annually on casual trading licences.
Cllr McGrath (FF): We need to hear back from the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District. If they include the circus field, we do not need to include the Owenabue Car Park. But if they don’t, then we might. If there is a Christmas market proposed and we have onlytwo spaces designated, is there a one-off provision for special events? What about the regular Lions Club car boot sale in the circus field. Will this be affected?
Manager: Yes. Permits can be issued on a one-off basis for special events. Not sure that casual trading includes car boot sales. Doesn’t think the casual trading would hinder car boot sales.
Cllr Canty: But traders come down and join in car boot sales.
Manager: Thinks that we should go to consultation with what we have. This will be published as a countywide draft bye-law with schedules for each municipal district. So all the municipal district designations will all be published together.
Agreed that we go ahead with publication of the draft by-law on this basis.
4. General Municipal Allocation/Town Development Fund
MDO: There are some funds remaining that were not allocated. Any funds remaining will go to the Area Office for footpath works, etc.
5. Disposal of Property
To consider the Grant of Wayleave at Bramble Hill, Castletreasure, Co Cork to Century Point Estates Ltd for the consideration of €2,500 plus Council’s legal costs.
There were no problems with this.
6. Chun na Ruin so leanas ón gComhairleoir a mheas:
To consider the following Notices of Motion in the name of:
Cllr. J Harris
1. “That a light be put up outside Douglas Hall AFC pitch in Moneygourney. The entrance is very busy and it’s pitch black at night.”
2. “That a zebra crossing be put in place between Tesco and Douglas community park. Huge volume of pedestrians use this area to cross the road, also that the Bollards be replaced as a matter of urgency.”
3. “That Galways lane be added to cleaning roster in Douglas”.
Cllr Harris not present.
Cllr. MR Desmond:
1. “In respect of the recently announced Carr’s Hill Interchange proposal, that Cork County Council calls on Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to hold a town hall style public meeting in addition to the public briefing they have planned. This is necessary to allow residents and commuters affected by the M28 proposal a fair opportunity to voice their concerns. Also that Cork County Council seek an extension of the TII’s initial feedback submission deadline of the 20th November next.”
Cllr Desmond: This is the biggest infrastructural issue that will hit our municipal district. A huge number of people attended the pubic consultation last Monday. All members of council staff and staff from the Roads Design Office were under pressure. There was Intense questioning from the public. Unfortunately to an extent, the consultation has probably raised more concerns than it has answered them. This is a quality of life issue. Pio was speaking about priorities for the people. This is the ultimate example. We have allowed these people to set up their homes and now this proposal completely ignores them. Maryborough Ridge residents have access to a motorway through their park. Newlyn Vale residents will have a motorway on top of them. And there is the issue of the closure of the two slip roads. Many of the questions posed by residents could not be answered. Many could not be answered sufficiently. There was a clear lack of thinking with regard to knock-on effects. The residents are not objecting to the motorway being upgraded. They are aware of the needs with respect to Ringaskiddy. But the motorway is almost like the road to nowhere. It stops at the Bloomfield interchange. Traffic issues are supposed to stop there. No-one could answer questions beyond the Bloomfield interchange because the project remit ends there. The alternative routes (Clarke’s Hill) are totally inadequate. We had a Douglas LUTS briefing a month ago and just after tha, the N28 announcements were made. I asked whether they would have an impact on the Douglas LUTS plans. I was told that they would have no impact. They will. They will have a major impact on Douglas infrastructure. Is fearful that the TII will hide behind the route selection and planning process. Believes that residents are entitled to have a town hall style meeting. Thinks TII should at least be meeting councillors. The residents have formed a steering group. They are being constructive but they are being told that no changes are possible.
The residents are looking for flexibility. Can the motorway stop sooner? This is what is done in Dublin. There needs to be thought given to this. The TII did not anticipate this reaction.
Cllr McGrath’s motion (taken out of sequence):
“This Committee requests that the National Roads Design Office and TII revisit the design proposals for the Carr’s Hill Interchange as part of the M28 project and provide for the retention of the Mount Oval off ramp and Maryborough Hill on ramp. Also, that the Public Consultation period be extended and that Officials from the TII and National Roads Office attend a meeting of this Municipal District.”
Cllr McGrath: Won’t repeat everything Cllr Desmond has said. Was never at a consultation at which so many people came through. Motion asks that the plan be revisited. We all agree with that. We need some feedback from the officials on the consultation last Monday. This hasn’t been handled well from the outset. They weren’t even holding that public information session when they came to our Development meeting. Welcomes that the deadline is being extended.
Thinks it is not acceptable that the NRDO won’t come back into us here again. That is unacceptable. We don’t know any more than the residents but we are getting queries every day. Hopes they are going to look at a resdesign but we don’t know.
Cllr Forde: Understands that the NRDO will collate all submissions and will come back to us. Understands also that a meeting has been requested for the Steering Committee and is sure that the public representatives will be invited to that.
Agreed we would formally ask TII to come to the Chamber to talk to us.
(4 members in Chamber at this stage)
Cllr. D Forde:
1. “That the relevant engineer gives a written report and update and timeline completion on the section of ground on Maryborough Hill just above the Paddocks.”
Cllr Forde: Thanks the executive for the response.
Cllr. S McGrath:
1. “This Committee requests that the National Roads Design Office and TII revisit the design proposals for the Carr’s Hill Interchange as part of the M28 project and provide for the retention of the Mount Oval off ramp and Maryborough Hill on ramp. Also, that the Public Consultation period be extended and that Officials from the TII and National Roads Office attend a meeting of this Municipal District.”
Motion taken above.
2. “To seek a written update on previous requests to provide a safe Crossing on Maryborough Hill at the location of the Broadale Bus stop.”
Cllr McGrath: This is a busy road and busy bus-stop. This motion was raised primarily for safety reasons. Other public representatives have raised it in the past. If there is no money there now, how do we get it? In light of the N28 discussions, the residents could do with a goodwill gesture towards improving safety on the hill.
Area Engineer: There is no available funding that could be put aside for that scheme. Is not aware of any specific issues that would say it is dangerous as we speak. If there are such issues, mention them because they would add more weight to the request. Are people looking for a controlled crossing with lights? Advice generally is to go away from the zebra crossing approach but it costs €40 – €50k for crossing with lights. You have a situation where in the immediate future the Maryborough Ridge estate will be finished and opened. In terms of an interim measure until that time comes, what is in place is the most cost-effective one can do. Understands that negotiations have been going on between the developer and the Council with regard to Maryborough Ridge.
Wants more information on specifically what the concern is. This is a narrow road. It is sufficiently well lit. We might be able to do short-term measures around road markings, signage, etc.
Cllr McGrath: Will try to get more feedback. Residents speak about risks to children crossing in the morning. Understands that Maryborough Ridge’s advancing is an issue. It would be helpful if we could relay this conversation to the parties negotiating with the developers.
3. “To ask the Public Lighting Section to consider a scheme on the R610 between Hop Island and Passage West in the Public Lighting Programme for 2016.”
Cllr McGrath: This request has come from some residents. They believe that lighting the road would increase its safety. Appreciate it is a long stretch of lights but we must start somewhere.
Cllr D’Alton: This is an issue that was raised several times at Town Council level over the years. If the road is lit from Hop Island, the lights must be paid for. The only way to pay for the lights is to open up the land for development. This is green belt and if Passage West is to stay a discrete town, then the green belt must not be developed. So the conclusion at Town Council level was always that this stretch should not be lit. But there is a real need to light from Eurospar to Roberts Bridge. Made a submission to the 2015 public lighting allocations on this but there were other priorities. The walkway is lit and the town is lit but there is a very dark, very dangerous stretch in between. If we could agree to prioritise lighting this stretch out of the 2016 public lighting allocations, it would be of major benefit to safety for the people of Passage West.
Cllr McGrath: Doesn’t necessarily agree that the lighting must have development alongside it to justify it but agrees to prioritise the Eurospar to Robert’s Bridge stretch for lighting next year.
Cllr. D O’Donnabhain:
That this Municipal District is extremely concerned at the recent Bord Pleanala decision concerning the Science and Technology Park situated at Curraheen. Given the importance of this park for future development in the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District, that this meeting:
- “Requests a report from the planning department of Cork County Council on the Science and Technology Park. Such Report to set out the entry criteria and requirements and processes to enable a prospective company set up in the park. Such Report should also include comment on whether the location of the Global HQ for Tyco, located in Cork City, would qualify for entry to the Park.”
- “Has Cork County Council carried out any liaison or research with IDA Ireland as which of their job announcements over the last 24 months would have satisfied the entry criteria.”
- “That this Municipal District would invite the head of the Science and Technology park to address this municipal District on the workings of such a park.”
Chair: The key thrust here is in relation to employment. City Gate in Mahon and 1 Albert Quay in town are major employment generators. A site in Wilton has now been redesignated in the same way. The Science and Technology Park is the largest site designated for this purpose in the county and it hasn’t developed in terms of bricks and mortar. Particularly contrasts with the city area. It is not a competition. It is a like for like. But enterprises in the city’s areas appear to be going ahead.
Would like someone from the Science and Technology Park in Belfast to come and talk to us.
Cllr Forde: Supports. It is a genuine concern of all of ours that there would be some action on this site.
Cllr McGrath: Also supports. Had a motion about this at full Council recently. This is a project that has huge potential but seems to be somewhat stuck at present.
Pio Condon: A Masterplan was done for the lands. It was informed by best practice across Europe. When the Masterplan was complete, it was presented to Council for consideration and agreement. That was 2012. Immediately following that, the Council set about designing the infrastructure to deliver the park and Masterplan. In 2013, the water services were connected up. We have consent for the infrastructure from An Bord Pleanala as from the beginning of this year. An Bord Pleanala was very supportive of the Masterplan approach and these documents are on public record.
Cork County Council got partial funding from the Department of Transport for the design of the roads infrastructure. There were also letters of support from the key public bodies delivering infrastructure.
An application was lodged towards end of 2014. It was refused by Cork County Council and An Bord Pleanala. The primary rationale was that the application/quantum of development applied for was in excess of the allocation for that portion of lands. The non-compliance of that application with the Masterplan was why it was refused. Understands that another application from a 3rd party is to be lodged in the coming weeks. Can see no reason why it will not be approved. Can see no reason why the previous application would not get approval if it complies with the Masterplan.
Phase 1 of the Masterplan identifies for the southern portion of the site (22,000 m2) which can be tapped into., This has road access.
From 2010 when the Advisory Board was established, to now. We have been successful in every step along the way. There is no barrier to development commencing.
(I had to go out for a minute.)
The An Bord Pleanala Inspector’s Report clarified that the floorspace development of the refused application exceeded the Masterplan. Not sure if there was a quantum of development or a use issue at stake but it was certainly one or the other.
Cllr Desmond: Are we sure the NRA won’t throw a spanner in the works? They did before.
Cllr Forde: Agreed. Can’t understand how when there are high-level pre-planning talks going on up until the last minute and then the NRA’s issues come up and throw a spanner in the works.
PC: We spoke to a number of potential tenants in the preparation of the Masterplan and this project was conceived with those conversations in mind. We spoke to significant international players with regard to what they needed to operate here. They said they wanted what we were designing and preparing.
Cllr. M D’Alton:
1. “That the NRA would undertake a representative survey of pedestrian movements at the uncontrolled crossing at Ringaskiddy adjacent to the new playground in accordance with the advice outlined in its Pedestrian Crossing Specification and Guidance and with a view to providing a signalised pedestrian crossing at this location. That this survey would be conducted at a representative time of the year and that it would take cognisance of the particularly vulnerable nature of the profile of pedestrians using the playground facility. That the NRA would take particular note of guidance from the National Transport Authority/Department of Transport which encourages justification for pedestrian facilities to be considered more in terms of the needs of pedestrians than in always maximising traffic flows.”
Cllr D’Alton: Raised a motion at the July meeting asking that the NRA would install a pelican crossing at the uncontrolled crossing adjacent to the playground in Ringaskiddy. The response – don’t know who it was from because it wasn’t on headed paper – said that they had done a survey which showed that the pedestrian crossing volumes didn’t and don’t warrant a controlled crossing.
Because there are procedures for taking these decisions and these had not been described to us, in October, I raised another motion to ask the details of these procedures. The response to the October motion said that the survey was undertaken BEFORE the playground went in. What good is this when the purpose of the pedestrian crossing is to serve the playground?
This time, the motion was to ask the NRA to carry out a survey during the summer so that they can really get a handle on the number of children crossing to use the playground. Glad to see from the response that they have agreed to do so. But thinks it is particularly sad that we have to go to these lengths to get a pedestrian crossing on an uncontrolled crossing already ducted for lights, to serve a playground on a national road through a village in one of the biggest industrial estates in the country. We’re supposed to be serving the public here. This is really sad.
Cllr Forde: Agrees.
Cllr McGrath: Also agrees. When the traffic calming was being installed, we asked for lights at this uncontrolled crossing. We were told no because it was a national road. But then a few months later they proposed lights at Shanbally and Shannonpark. So they are quite willing to put lights on national roads to suit their own purposes.
2. “That Cork County Council, Cork City Council and the National Transport Authority would give consideration to designing the N40 overbridge as a green crossing which would permit pedestrians, cyclists and wildlife alike to cross the N40 in safety.”
Cllr D’Alton: Thanks the executive for notifying us of the commencement of preliminary investigations for the overpass over the N40. We are talking about the Tramore Valley Park and the overpass being a landmark development and this is an ideal opportunity to consider provision of a green bridge.
A green bridge is a wildlife crossing. (Passes around some photographs of green bridges worldwide. Green bridges images) It is intended to help animals and other biodiversity to cross buy transport routes. Human transportation routes, especially roads, fragment habitats. A green bridge is the most successful way of:
- creating safe crossing points for wildlife movement
- joining up habitats and colonies
- creating a crossing point for people
- benefiting bees and other pollinators
- integrating human transportation features into the surrounding landscape.
There are all sorts of different wildlife crossings. But we are building a pedestrian and cycle link bridge over the N40 and that which is recommended most strongly for this purpose is a multi-use overpass.
Multi-use overpasses are designed for mixed wildlife-human use. They are generally the smallest of the wildlife overpasses, they are best suited to human disturbed environments and they best benefit species which are adapted to human activity and disturbance. If they are designed to look like part of the landscape, they really work for invertebrates (spiders, beetles), small animals and big animals.
Natural England, the nature conservation agency of the British government, has recently completed a collation of scientific and cost evidence from 56 examples of green bridges across the world. Their work found that green bridges could be an important part of the sustainability of future transport projects.
The UK doesn’t have many green bridges. The two that are best well known are the one over the A21 at Scotney Castle in Kent and the 25 mile wide Mile End green bridge built in London which spans five lanes of the A11. In the Mile End bridge, rainwater runs off the bridge into tanks on either side and is then recycled to maintain the water content of the soil.
Green bridges are far more widely used in Europe. In the Netherlands, where they were first conceived, 48 eco-crossings are either built or planned since 1988. One of the earliest ecoducts was the Terlet overpass which is planted with trees. Within six years three species of deer were recorded using it, along with wild boar, red fox, badger, wood mice, common shrew and common vole.
There are plenty more examples of green bridges in the US and Canada.
We have a landmark project in the Tramore Valley Park. Not just here but generally, we need to start thinking outside the box in terms of our engineering. Green engineering supports a massive range of different EU and nationally driven policies. The EU has a document specifically supporting the concept and application of green engineering. We need to start thinking outside the box in terms of traditional engineering. Appreciate the response but noting that wildlife will be “considered” in the course of the design is just not good enough. Wants this Municipal District to send a message to RPS as consultants and to the agencies that are supporting them in this work that they must seriously consider designing this overpass as a green bridge.
Support given for this.
7. Votes of Congratulations
Cllr Desmond: Congratulations to NEMO
8. Any Other Business
Chair: Received a letter addressed to another councillor. Veiled threats were contained in this letter. It was written in a personal capacity. It included copy of extracts from newspapers. It referred to aspects of debate raised in consideration of planning permission defects on the ground and the way in which these should be addressed. To receive a letter from a person referring to the use of slander and defamation and not to set out the case properly nor to follow it on with legal correspondence …
Doesn’t know much about this company – O’Brien & O’Flynn – and doesn’t know how a company may feel itself slandered but if residents have raised a concern with reps and those reps seek to raise the issue in the Chamber, that is their right.
Takes the content of the letter really seriously and thinks it goes to the heart of the democracy we try to represent every day. These are bully boy tactics in the extreme.
Feel very strongly about this and regrets that the press is no longer present.
MDO: An issue was brought to our attention in relation to parking by-laws in Ballincollig. When they were adopted at the time, they incorporated fines. An SI was adopted then. We were asked whether one could legally challenge these. The 3 hour parking limit in the long-stay car parks isn’t being enforced and this is becoming a problem for the traders.
We proposed to bring the parking times in line with the Douglas hours in a new by-law. We will have these drafted tomorrow, will circulate them to members and will advertise them on Friday. That will give a public submission date up to the start of January. Will allow discussion at the next municipal district meeting and we will then be able to implement them by February.
Cllr D’Alton: Tom Fahy Park in Passage West was recently redesigned by the County Council. It is surrounded by box planters. The specification on the drawing was that these were to be filled with good quality soil. I have a sample of good quality soil here and a sample of the soil that was put into the planters. Nothing could grow in this. We get this time and time again when the County Council gets contractors to do landscaping works and it takes months and months of amendment and replacement before we can plant anything in it. The County Council decided not to plant Tom Fahy Park, although the planting was part of the specifications. It decided to leave it to the Tidy Towns in Passage West. We have 6 people out on a good day and there is just no way we can cope with removing all this soil, replacing it with something that plants can grow in and then planting it up. We had said we would like to plant Fr. O’Flynn Park because we have existing planting in it and we want to match the new plants to that. But we can’t improve on the planting that was proposed for Tom Fahy Park.
MDO: Only issue with Tom Fahy Park was that the two downlighters were vandalised.
Cllr D’Alton: Not condoning vandalism, but those lights were not in the drawings that we discussed and they were totally unsuited to the application. They were only thin light metal.
MDO: We hadn’t decided on the style of light. We had said that the steps must be lit.
Cllr D’Alton: That is true. But the uplighters to the tree were removed from the final drawing that we did not see also. But this soil that was put in is nothing we can plant in. It is not good quality as the specifications required.
Area Engineer: There must have been a misunderstanding. We will remove the soil and get it replaced with good quality soil. We will talk to the architects about doing the planting in the park.
Cllr McGrath: Had a motion about traffic calming measures on the Ballinrea Road. Has a speed survey been done as part of the Ballinrea campus application? Would the Area Office do it if it hasn’t been done to date?
Also the sound barrier on the N40. Can we communicate with TII that the proposals they put forward were not satisfactory from the residents’ point of view.
Area Engineer: Is not sure that a speed survey was done as part of the planning application.
MDO: Wrote to TII and attached copies of some of the emails which were received. Asked them if they would revert but they have not to date. We will follow up again.
Cllr McGrath: Dereliction in the convent in Passage West. The Council spent funding on that in the past. Are we going to recoup that money from the new owner?
MDO: Yes. We will be looking to recoup our costs. We don’t know if the proposed acquisition will be subject to planning.
Cllr Murphy: Cllr O’Laoghaire sends his apologies for not being present. Thanks for the signs for Marmullane Park. Wonders if we could we get a sign saying no dogs only guide dogs. Asked for update on Pinecroft.
MDO: We have such signs in cemetries because this restriction is covered under the cemeteries byelaws. We cannot apply the same restrictions in public parks.
Area Engineer updated on Pinecroft again.
This concluded the meeting.