Residents to decide on Monard appeal

People living in a rural part of Co Cork which is to be turned into a new town are expected to meet shortly to decide whether to lodge an appeal against the plan with An Bord Pleanála.

After a marathon meeting in County Hall on Monday, councillors eventually decided to resubmit their plans for a 5,800-house town at Monard, near Blarney.

Council chiefs say they hope they have addressed problems with the plan which was first turned down by the planning appeals board in 2013.

However, locals remain unconvinced. They maintain there is still lack of certainty in relation to essential elements underpinning the plan which are not within the council’s control.

These include the National Roads Authority building a northern Ring Road and providing it with a junction connection to Monard and Iarnród Éireann opening up a railway station on the site.

Two years ago, An Bord Pleanála said a higher density of houses was needed in the Monard plan to make it economically viable.

The council has since increased density, which locals say is not compatible with a rural area.

They are also concerned with the amount of concrete which will have to be poured on the earmarked site, which is elevated.

This, they maintain, will cause increased flood risks in the valley below and in Blackpool.

The development proposes to wipe out 1,000 acres of dairy farm land at a time when there is a national drive to increase agricultural output and provide 10,000 additional jobs in the sector.

Monard residents say they appreciate that the councils have to provide for future housing need.

However, they point out there are brown-field sites near the city, which would be much more economical to develop and that the town could have a negative impact on Blarney tourism.


Lifestyle

I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner