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Marino Point Plans Concern Passage Residents

Members of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District (MD) are to seek a meeting with the Port of Cork to find out the latter’s plans for Marino Point, opposite Passage West.

It’s understood the site of the former NET/IFI fertiliser plant, which closed in 2002 and has become an eyesore, was earmarked by the Port of Cork as a bulk cargo terminal as part of a master plan that includes relocating the container terminal from Tivoli to Ringaskiddy.

With the likelihood of increased activity in Irish ports, if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit, local people want to know the future plans for Marino Point and other port facilities.

Moving a motion along with Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) seeking the meeting with the Port of Cork, Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said the site was purchased by the company in 2017.

Marino Point on Great Island, she pointed out, was closer to Passage West (500 metres away) than Carrigaloe (700m) and Cobh (3.5km) on the island.

Former operations at the plant have impacted significantly on development in Passage West, so residents, some of whom live directly across from Marino Point are understandably anxious to be kept informed and suggested we seek a meeting’, said Cllr D’Alton.

She understood that the Port of Cork was due to meet with representatives of Cobh MD and she would be happy, as a Carrigaline-Ballincollig MD member, to sit in at this. She also asked that the Port of Cork be informed about the motion.

Cllr McGrath concurred and he too highlighted the concerns of residents about possible noise, dust and light pollution that could result from future development. In wishing to see the future development of the dockyard site in Passage West, they didn’t want to see anything at Marino Point that could impact on this in a negative way and its marketing.

There was also need to know the nature of the cargoes proposed for loading and unloading at Marino Point and for clarity on planning issues and the input of residents and public representatives.

The MD, said Cllr McGrath, was a relevant stakeholder and he recalled that the former Passage West Town Council met several times with the Port of Cork regarding Marino Point and the proximity of the town to Marino Point was referred to in the county development and MD local area plans. ‘We need to be part of the process’, he added.

Cllr Michael Frick Murphy (SF) supported the motion. People had to put up with a lot from Marino Point over the years and the people of Passage West were entitled to know what was happening. He added that he previously tried to put down a similar motion but was told he couldn’t because it wasn’t in his MD area.

MD officer Kevin O’Regan said Port of Cork would be written to and Cobh MD notified following a similar motion at its meeting in December. He pointed out that the company had said it intended coming to the full council when the master plan was ready.

Because the master plan was being done consultation between the Port of Cork and the executive of planning section in County Hall which wasn’t a regular planning process, meeting with the company at Cobh MD at an early stage in its development was important because it appeared there was no means by which the public could get involved until viewing it at finalization, said Cllr D’Alton. The motion was adopted.

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