Council unveils plan for €50 million new town
Cork County Council has unveiled plans to establish a brand new €50 million town at Monard between Blarney and Blackpool just outside Cork City.
Monard has been selected as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) which involves a new type of planning and its position just outside Cork City allows it to combine a good environment with plenty of space for families, with proximity to the jobs and services in the area and short commuting distances.
"The SDZ approach actually involves a lot more detail in planning than the normal planning carried out in Ireland, normally if you open up a local area plan you find the land zoned field by field, it won't say how it will be developed, while SDZ zones requires much more information on building heights and it's a much more detailed type of planning, it's closer to what happens in continental Europe, said Nicholas Mansergh, Senior Planner with Cork County Council.
Monard will be a brand new satellite town and the first SDZ designated town outside the Greater Dublin area but it may take 20 to 30 years to reach its intended population of 12,500 and it is estimated that this development will cost close to €50 million, but this will be spread over a period of 15-20 years.
"It goes on public display as a draft plan, and it then comes back to the council and they can decide whether they want to amend it or proceed it, if they are happy with it, then there is a period of four weeks where anyone can appeal it to an Bord Pleanala in relation to the scheme."
'There's a long lead time with these things, there's no sewage or water supply there and we would have to provide those and also allow appeals to an Bord Pleanala and also hold an oral hearing,then we would have to put the infrastructure out to tender and all of these things take time."
"While the market is non-existent for houses at the moment the number of households is continuing to increase so a lot of people are still living with their parents. At some point you will get some sort of recovery and there will be demand for houses."
The existing rail line by Monard is the primary reason that this area with over 70 houses was selected and as it is a greenfield site there are certain advantages with developing it for a new town.
"It's a greenfield site, so we will be starting from scratch and there are some advantages in a green field site , for example if you want a cycle route, in a new town you can plan the route and make sure it goes along the contours, it's an advantage of planning from scratch."
"If we assume that the future will be up and down it may take that length of time for it to fully develop. We can use the recession to do this type of planning, if things haven't improved by 2015, then it's a case of waiting. It's much better to have these things done now rather than later."
The Draft Planning Scheme will be available for inspection in County Hall from Friday and in local libraries in Blarney and Glanmire from Friday 15 June until 31 July whereby members of the public will be able to make observations on it during that period.