Writes Jack White
At a recent meeting of the Ballincollig-Carrigaline Municipal district councilors, Cllr Marcia D’Alton proposed that a special Local Area Plan be developed for Cork Harbour. At present, planning for development of the harbour is divided, not just between land and sea, but also between 4 Municipal Districts.
Cllr D’Alton says that, ”If we are to progress efficient and sustainable development of our harbour, we need to do so in a co-ordinated and integrated way”. Marcia proposed that councilors support “the development of a Cork Harbour Special Local Area Plan to progress the work already undertaken by Cork County Council in the draft Cork Harbour Study and to ensure that the multi-faceted voices of Cork Harbour stakeholders are heard in a democratic way”. Secondly, she called for support for “the creation of a committee comprising representatives of the four Municipal Districts surrounding the Harbour, the aim of which would be to develop and drive forward the aims of the Cork Harbour Special Local Area Plan.”
Cllr Claire Cullinane (Ind) proposed the same motion to the elected members of the Cobh Municipal District last week, whilst Cllr Mary Linehan-Foley did the same for East Cork Municipal District next week and Cllr Margaret Murphy-O’Mahony for the Bandon-Kinsale Municipal District.
This is the first time ever that all the electoral areas around Cork Harbour have come together with Cork Harbour as the focus of their attention.
Commenting on the idea, Marcia says, “We will have a joint purpose to drive forward the aims of the Special Local Area Plan for the land around Cork Harbour. A single committee will also facilitate a single point of contact for co-ordinating with the Port of Cork who are the statutory guardians of planning for the waters of the harbour.”
The motion has received full support both at the Ballincollig-Carrigaline and at the Cobh Municipal Districts. It has also received the support of the County Council executive. Their favoured approach is to advance the forthcoming revision of the eight Local Area Plans for the eight Municipal Districts in the coming months, identify shared issues arising from them relating to Cork Harbour and to then explore how these can be incorporated into a Cork Harbour Special Local Area Plan.