Tuesday 12 December 2017

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City and county councillors split on extension

Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 6:04pm

Cork's new city boundary extension has been met with mixed reactions from city and county councillors.

Fine Gael Cllr Derry Canty, who represents the Ballincollig-Carrigaline area, was critical of the extension, telling the Cork Independent: “Cork County Council over the years have put proper planning into our community, and from what I can see now we’re going to be taken in and just left lingering there.

“We’re not finished yet. Our statutory committee will be meeting in the next few days, because our voice was not listened to.”

Independent Cllr Marcia D’Alton was similarly dissatisfied, saying an area she represents stretching from the Rochestown Inn to the start of Passage West town had been included without consultation.

“I am so angry about it. It encompasses the walk along the old railway line, and it takes presence from our town. We never even had the chance to discuss it.”

Fianna Fáil Cllr Seamus McGrath said: “There will now be areas completely rural in character transferred into the city, which I believe is highly undesirable for local residents and communities, but also from a planning perspective and it runs contrary to a policy in place for decades to protect these rural and greenbelt areas.”

City councillors appeared more optimistic however, saying that while they had not achieved everything they would have liked they were satisfied with the overall scope of the extension.

“It’s a substantial increase to the city which will allow us to do what we need to serve the people there and also those in the county,” Sinn Féin Cllr Stephen Cunningham said.

“It goes back to the mid-1900s extension. The same concerns of people were raised about people and county services being affected etc. Those concerns were unfounded at the time and they’re unfounded now.”

Solidarity Cllr Fiona Ryan said that while she supported the extension, she hoped that the debate would be centred more on the concerns of the people than on political wrangling.

“This is, at the end of the day a finance issue; the city does not have the resources to bring the infrastructure back up to where it needs to be today,” she said.

“It’s about building a fairer society and being able to deliver on basic services. And right now, that’s not working.”

Fine Gael Cllr Des Cahill said: “There were areas in which we were restricted by the McKinnon recommendations. If you look at the areas of Passage and Monkstown on the map, it seems odd that they’re not included, but that’s fine and was agreed not to be discussed. Areas like Little Island I understand because of the large income. Carrigtwohill I think would be more appropriate to have in the city, but again it’s not something that I’m too upset about.”

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