The resurrected plan to build a new town with 5,800 houses on the northern outskirts of Cork City will go to An Bord Pleanála again after a number of groups and individuals objected to it.
Among those who have lodged objections to the county council’s plans for the new town of Monard, near Blarney, are two residents’ groups, the board of management of a local school, O’Flynn Construction and several individuals.
Two years ago Cork County Council, which had spent eight years formulating the plan, received a major setback when Bord Pleanála refused it permission to go ahead with the town.
One of the primary reasons which concerned the planning appeals board was the lack of certainty about the National Roads Authority (NRA) providing a junction link from the proposed new Northern Ring Road to Monard, which is 7km north of the city.
On July 27 last a proposal by council officials to lodge the revised plan to Bord Pleanála was nearly scuppered by its own councillors.
On that day a council meeting was adjourned for three hours as chief executive Tim Lucey held talks with party leaders in an effort to prevent them rejecting the project.
He eventually won the day after telling councillors the Monard plan was a vitally important part of the council’s “long-term strategy for the region.”
Mr Lucey said that 3,800 of the houses could be built without the need for the Northern Ring Road and these would be constructed within the next 15-20 years, by which time that road should be built.
He also said the council had since received a commitment from the NRA to build the junction link.
It is estimated it will take 25 years for the town to be completed.
Bord Pleanála also expressed concerns about a commuter rail link and Iarnród Éireann providing a station at Monard, which is on the Cork-Mallow line.
The council says it has also received assurances on that aspect of the plan from Iarnród Éireann.
Bord Pleanála was also concerned about the housing density not being sufficient to make Monard economically viable for developers and building on its high ground could lead to flooding elsewhere, especially in the downstream city suburb of Blackpool.
Mr Lucey said the council had increased housing density in the revised plan and addressed potential flooding.
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