A blueprint for future development in East Cork includes plans for more than 5,000 homes, four primary schools, two secondary schools, shopping centres, parks, cycleways, and a railway station.
Details of the county council plans for development along the Cork-Midleton rail corridor at Carrigtwohill and Water Rock, near Midleton, were revealed yesterday at a municipal district meeting by the local authority’s senior planner Andrew Hind.
He unveiled the two ‘master plans’, which focus on zoning 120 hectares of land north of the railway line at Carrigtwohill and a further 160 hectares at Water Rock, where the new railway station will be built.
Mr Hind said development stalled during the recession, which unfortunately coincided with the reopening in 2009 of the Cork-Midleton railway.
He told local councillors that, as there were now signs of the economy picking up, it was prudent to plan for the future and that the council wants to ensure that further development takes place along the railway route to reduce car journeys.
The new station will be built close to the former Dawn Meats plant and part of that area is also to be zoned for new industry.
“We’re already in discussion with Iarnrod Éireann about this and are developing a business case for them,” said Mr Hind. “We would intend to part-fund its building through development charges.”
He said the CSO predicted that, by 2045, the population of the country will be more than 6m and Cork will have to provide for its share of the increase, especially along the commuter rail corridor which has been identified by the council as a major area for sustainable development.
The senior planner said he believed that up to 300 houses per annum could be built in the two rezoned areas.
The council has already entered into talks with the 41 landowners in Carrigtwohill — including BAM, which has significant land there — and with the 19 landowners in Water Rock.
Councillors were told that a new sewerage treatment plant being built in Carrigtwohill will have the capacity to cater for the new developments planned there.
Meanwhile, water and sewerage systems in the Midleton area are at full capacity, but Irish Water has given a commitment to upgrade them to service the Water Rock plans.
The two master plans will go out to public consultation from July 17 to August 28, after which council officials may have to make alterations to the plans before they are formally adopted.
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