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Council Seeking Venue For Market In Passage

Council Seeking Venue For Market In Passage

Writes Leo McMahon Efforts are being made by Cork County Council to designate a site for casual trading in Passage West, possibly at Chapel Square or the car park opposite near Fr O’Flynn Park. In a report to the monthly meeting of Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District, MD officer Mr. Kevin O’Regan said that as part of a Town and Village Renewal Scheme for Passage West, the county architect’s department suggested Chapel Square be considered as a potential market venue. ‘Taking into account the fact that there are residential properties and businesses operating in the square, the car park opposite is also proposed for designation’. Having circulated a map of the two proposed areas, Mr. O’Regan stated: ‘It should be emphasized that the purpose of designation is to cater for the possibility of a market taking place. It does not mean that one will take place or that all of the designated area would be unavailable for use by others on a market day’. If members could agree on a designated area in Passage, the public consultation for the draft casual trading by-laws could be extended so that this could be included, he added. Cllr Michael Frick Murphy (SF) recalled the former town council being of the view that Chapel Square was the best place to have a market but accepted there were now business and parking issues to examine. Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said on a morning back in 2004-05, she and former Passage West town councillor Jo Kelleher (FG) stood at the entrance to Chapel Square and by the car park serving the former fire station to trade there because there was a deadline for maintaining the historic market rights. In supporting the proposal for extending the consultation period, she went on: ‘A market could bring great vibrancy to the retail element of the town centre but I do think Chapel Square could be a little sensitive because of the residents living there. However, if designed with care, it could a tremendously positive thing.’ Cllr D’Alton noted that Roberts Bridge car park, Passage West, where there is a trader who depends on his livelihood from this, and the Island, Ringaskiddy, which was requested by the residents, were not included in the maps. Both of these, she contended, had already been agreed by the Municipal District (MD) and she urged their inclusion. Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) concurred, adding there was need to proceed with caution with everything suggested opened up for consultation. Mr. O’Regan said there were no maps showing Roberts Bridge and the Island so these were not published and advertised but there was no reason why the MD couldn’t propose these for submission. Cllr McGrath said he was anxious as a point of principle that the public be made aware and afforded an opportunity to comment on new submissions. In support, Cllr D’Alton said the trader at Roberts Bridge could only be in a position to make a submission if that location was in a map for consultation but twice this hadn’t happened. The same applied to Ringaskiddy. The MD officer said he would see if the other areas mentioned could be included in a map by the end of the week of the meeting so that these could be seen and commented on by the public. This was welcomed by Cllr McGrath and other members and it was unanimously agreed to include all three areas in the extended consultation.

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