Writes Ciaran Dineen
Cork County Council have commenced a review of the 2014 County Development Plan, included in which there will be a review of the current status tied with the Old Pottery Site in Carrigaline.
Under the Local Area Plan 2017, the site is identified as a ‘Regeneration Area’, but this status could now change as the Council “will consider the inclusion of additional guidance to define the urban design and land-use parameters of this strategic site of historical and cultural value to the community”. It also stated that the review will “encourage mixed-use development on the site”.
The announcement comes following a motion at this week’s meeting of the Carrigaline Municipal District Meeting (MD) in County Hall. Councillor Liam O’Connor (FG) requested that the District write to the Planning Office to seek an update on the status of the development of the Pottery Site, which has now been vacant for almost 20 years.
The brownfield site is an incredible example of untapped potential that exists in Carrigaline and it is recognised as being vital to the future planning vision for the town. It is likely that the vacant space would be occupied by a mixture of retail and/or office facilities and it is the intention according to the response from the Council, that the space would be for ‘mixed-use’.
Pic Adrian O'Herlihy: Ariel Shot over the Old Pottery Site
Responsible planning is being called for by locals, with one local source saying, “We need our planners and politicians to ensure the space isn’t occupied by fast-food outlets or the likes”.
There has been a real focus on emphasising the need to review vacant sites around Carrigaline that could be used to improve the regeneration of the town. The recently commissioned Carrigaline Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan (CTPREP) is expected to deliver a “robust transportation strategy to facilitate future sustainable development within the town”, creating a pedestrian and cycle-friendly environment which will help to boost commercial development.
Albeit perhaps slightly irrelevant to Cllr O’Connor’s motion, it was importantly highlighted by Director of Services, Planning and Development, Michael Lynch, that “Carrigaline currently has one of the lowest jobs to resident workers ratio in the county and highlights the dormitory nature of the town. This gives rise to high dependency on car use as a high percentage of residents commute outside of the town for work”
Speaking in the Council Chamber, Cllr O’Connor indicated that he would like the Council to take a proactive approach and get involved with the site before the remaining land is sold off. Part of the space has already been purchased by a well-known retail chain, and it is expected that they will eventually apply for planning permission.
Cllr O’Connor suggested that he does not think that the pottery site will be examined under CTPREP as that is primarily focused on the public realm in the centre of Carrigaline and the water-front. “We all know now that the site has been sold with a major retailer expected to go in there. There’s probably 5 or 6 acres on the site that could be used for different functions so before any planning comes in from any other retailer I was hoping that members could have an input into the overall plan for that area,” expressed Cllr O’Connor
He was supported by Councillor Seámus McGrath (FF) who noted that there were previous fears raised with regards to the site if a piecemeal approach was taken with regards to planning. He also expressed concerns over the terminology associated with the site in the Local Area Plan, saying that it “doesn’t necessarily take an overall approach to the site and anything that we can do at this stage I would fully support.”
It was suggested and agreed by Chairperson, Councillor Aidan Lombard (FG), that a meeting be arranged between the Director of Services, Planning and Development and members of the District to discuss the matter further.