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.


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