Cork County Council: Compensation for boundary land inadequate

Tim Lucey

Cork County Council wants compensation for the loss of a huge swathe of its territory to be paid by Cork City Council indefinitely and not just over a 10-year period, as recommended by the Mackinnon report.

County councillors are also seeking an urgent meeting with the new minister responsible for overseeing the implementation of the city boundary extension, Eoghan Murphy, and the authors of the report to discuss its huge implications for the future viability of their local authority.

In the meantime, Cork County Council chief executive, Tim Lucey, is asking the minister and the authors to respond to 42 questions which seek clarification on legal issues surrounding the proposed boundary expansion, the loss of rates, compensation etc.

The Mackinnon report recommends that Ballincollig, Blarney, Cork Airport, Glanmire, Little Island, and Carrigtwohill be taken over by the city.

Angry county councillors referred to it as “a land grab” or “cash grab”. The county council stands to lose more than €40m in rates revenue per annum.

However, Mr Lucey said the loss to the council would be far higher over the years as it has invested significant money in major projects which have yet to come onstream.

These include tens of thousands of houses which will be built in the Ballincollig, Glanmire, Blarney, and Carrigtwohill areas, plus major industrial development in Little Island and Carrigtwohill, including the fully-serviced site once earmarked for Amgen.

Mr Lucey said his council wants compensation from future earnings the city council would make from these projects, through rates and local property tax.

“It is expected that close to 80% of all future development in Cork is likely to occur in the extended city boundary areas,” Mr Lucey said.

He has also questioned the city council’s ability to pay any compensation and wants it enshrined in legislation that the State will guarantee to pay any shortfall on the date the money is due.

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