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Carrigaline Plaza Proposals Expected in May

Writes Ciaran Dineen

Almost four years after the first official announcement that Carrigaline would see a significant overhaul of its town centre, Cork County Council have announced that it is expected to begin a public consultation process outlining what proposed changes it envisages for public realm enhancement in the heart of the village.

In August 2019, Cork County Council revealed its intention to engage in a tendering process to develop the Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Strategy (TPREP), in a two-part strategy which would see an integrated approach to transport planning and public realm enhancement, with the aim of addressing issues that have long dominated the town.

In September 2022, local councillors voted in favour of Part 1 of TPREP, which focused on the transport vision for the town. Details of the plan included; the creation of a bus lane moving southbound from the Heron Roundabout all the way down Main Street to the Bank of Ireland Corner, wider footpaths in the town centre to provide shared spaces for pedestrians and cyclists, the installation of public benches throughout the village, a new bus shelter for ‘The Bridge’ and a new junction in place of the existing Heron Roundabout. In addition, a controversial Active Travel link which will see the construction of a walkway in Bridgemount and Heron’s Wood estate seeks to extend the Greenway, linking Crosshaven with Passage West, while also aiming to promote methods of sustainable travel, particularly for young people moving to and from school.

For the past couple of years local councillors have also been eager to progress the design proposals for the public realm initiatives which have been promised for Carrigaline in a similar way to what recent plans have been unveiled for Cobh town centre by Senior Architect, Giulla Vallone. However, there has been some considerable frustration over the lack of detail and updates furnished to public representatives during this time as it had been expected that public realm enhancements would coincide with transport improvements.

To date, councillors have not been privy to the design concept proposed by the Council, although it is known that the core feature will involve the removal of car parking spaces from the front of the Owenabue carpark and replacing this area with public realm enhancement measures, ultimately leading to the creation of a ‘Plaza’ like space in the heart of the village.

At April’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District, Cllr Seámus McGrath (FF) put forward a motion requesting that details regarding public realm improvements be furnished to members and that a timeline for proposals be outlined.

Senior Executive Engineer, Tim O’Herlihy, informed Cllr McGrath that “subject to the approval of members, it is hoped to launch the Part 8 for this project mid to late May”. As part of a written response to Cllr McGrath, Mr O’Herlihy added that “once Part 8 is approved the project will proceed to detail design and Tender documents. It is envisaged that CCC could be in a position to advertise a tender for construction of this project in Q4 2023.”

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