It was announced last week by Cork County Council (CCC) that it intends to engage in a “competitive tendering process for the appointment of a multi-disciplinary consulting services team to provide technical services in respect of Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan (TPREP)”.
The chosen team will be given an estimated duration of 12 months in order to complete an initial contract design for an in-depth, concise and detailed report on the long-term future strategy of Carrigaline.
The aim of the plan is to provide a roadmap for the multi-faceted development of the town, which will look to solve problems surrounding traffic congestion, while also providing an approach for sustainable growth. It also seeks to identify how Carrigaline can become more attractive, by way of a public realm strategy, which is an integral part of the overall plan.
The closing date for the submission of tenders is Monday 2nd September and applications will subsequently be evaluated before the contract is awarded. It is very much expected that tender will be awarded before the end of 2019 and it is hoped that local County Councillors will be afforded the opportunity to meet those involved following their appointment.
Upon hearing the update, Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF), welcomed the news from CCC and said that he had been advocating for this for some time. Speaking to The Carrigdhoun Newspaper Cllr McGrath explained,
“we have had a lot of development in Carrigaline over many decades but we have not seen the investment in infrastructure to match. We are playing catch-up in terms of infrastructure and we are trying to reduce that deficit. Over the last 10 years or so it has been very difficult to reduce the deficit because capital funding was very hard to come by due to the economic downturn. However we are at a point where funding is now becoming available and it is important that we plan this funding and are coherent about where it goes.”
In November 2018 CCC gave their first inclination that such a plan could be put together in relation a public realm plan, with an estimated cost of the initial project amounting to €2.1 million. It is thought that one of the key results of the project would see the front part of the Owenabue Carpark become the hub or heart of the town, but until official designs are released it is unknown what would exist in such a public realm space.
The strategy has also been supported by Councillor Liam O’Connor (FG), who has said that he would also like to see a number of other potential proposals addressed including, 1: A one way system on the Main Street. 2: Development of the pottery area to incorporate residential housing/apartments, while it is also very likely that the concept of creating an inner relief road/ring road could also be mooted.
Councillor Seámus McGrath also told The Carrigdhoun Newspaper that as part of the strategy he would like to see if planners could devise a strategy that would sustain a healthy mix of businesses in the town centre.
It is important to note that while this is a long-term strategy which will look at how Carrigaline will function in decades to come, it will not prevent other developments that are already in motion, such as the Inner Western Relief Road, Ferney Road and design change to the Ballinrea Road/Cross and Ashgrove Roundabout, for which details may be made public in September.
When the Council reconvenes from its Summer recess it is expected that a further update to the Carrigaline TPREP will be provided to Councillors at their monthly Municipal District meeting.