Councillors block Mahon development

Councillors have blocked zoning changes which would have facilitated further development in the Mahon area of Cork pending major upgrades to the area’s roads network.

They last night overturned recommendations for alterations to the draft zoning objectives for key sites in the Mahon Point area and on Jacob’s Island, which were contained in the draft City Development Plan 2015-2021.

Fianna Fáil councillor Terry Shannon said there is traffic chaos and bedlam in the area at peak hours.

“What we need is a dedicated traffic lane from the CSO offices to Mahon Point,” he said.

“We should pursue the NRA about this vital piece of road infrastructure and, until such time as we get it, no further rezoning should go ahead.”

Sinn Féin councillor Chris O’Leary said residents of some areas around Mahon Point shopping centre will face a traffic nightmare between now and Christmas, with indiscriminate parking in their areas.

The head of planning, Pat Ledwidge, said the Mahon area is zoned for some 89,000 sq m of development, of which around 36,000 sq m has been built.

Mr Ledwidge accepted that, given imminent plans for a further 20,000 sq m in the area, and in the absence of a balance in residential development and a modal shift in transport patterns, the Mahon area is at “saturation point”.

The proposed changes in Mahon were among a raft of draft plan amendments agreed last night.

Councillors prevented the change of zoning at the Melbourne Business Park in Bishopstown from business and technology to residential local services.

An ambition to develop a pedestrian and emergency vehicle bridge linking Grenville Place near the Mercy University Hospital to Distillery Fields, pending the outcome of certain studies, was also included in the draft plan.


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