€15m road to ease Carrigaline’s ‘chronic’ traffic

Ireland’s busiest commuter town is poised to get a multi-million relief road within two years.

Cork County Council confirmed yesterday it has reached an agreement in principle with a property development firm which has dropped a legal challenge, clearing the way for work to finally begin on the €15m Carrigaline Western Relief Road.

County mayor Tim Lombard welcomed the news. “This is one of the most important pieces of infrastructure this town has been waiting for. It will open up main street and the southern end of the town to development, and sort out the chronic traffic issues which have plagued the town for generations.”

The large construction project is also expected to create hundreds of jobs.

The project has been in the pipeline for more than two decades and was almost scrapped over funding difficulties two years ago.

Property development company, Piton Properties, which is associated with local businessman Barry Collins and property developer Clayton Love, proposed a new town centre plan which included a relief road along a different route.

However, the relief road got back on track after a funding commitment was secured from the Department of Transport and the plans progressed.

However, Piton Properties sought a judicial review on certain aspects of the town’s local area plan.

An arbitration hearing in relation to the compulsory purchase order of land relating to Piton Properties was to take place in April, and a court hearing on the judicial review was also planned for the coming weeks.

But council officials told local public representatives yesterday that the local authority is now at an advanced stage of negotiation with Piton Properties.

Although a formal agreement has not yet been signed, the council has agreed in principle to a partial deferral of the settlement payable to Piton Properties, in return for a commitment by the council to complete the construction of the Carrigaline Western Relief Road by Sep 2014.

This would mean that the arbitration and judicial review proceedings would come to an end.

The agreement will also be subject to the resolution of planning permission for junctions on the new road.

It will also result in the transfer of the Soccer Club Road and Park to the council, its completion and its connection to the new road.

The department has indicated a strategic road project of this nature would attract 75% funding support.

While the department is not yet in a position to commit to specific funding allocations, the council said the department’s indication “provides comfort to the council in relation to the ultimate recoupment of this level of funding”.

County councillors will be asked to sign off on certain amendments to parts of the local area plan in due course.

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