County councillors seek confirmation boundary report not set in stone

Cork county councillors are seeking urgent clarification from the minister responsible for the expansion of Cork City’s boundary amid fears the body overseeing its implementation considers the Mackinnon report to be written in stone.

County councillors seek confirmation boundary report not set in stone

That report has suggested that the city boundary should be extended to take in Cork Airport, Ballincollig, Blarney, Glanmire, Little Island, and Carrigtwohill.

Leaders of the different parties on the county council have united to oppose a blanket implementation of the report’s recommendations.

In a joint statement issued yesterday, they said they had serious concerns “regarding the role and terms of reference of the Cork Local Government Implementation Oversight Group” and were to seek urgent clarification from Eoghan Murphy, the housing, planning, and local government minister.

County councillors described the Mackinnon report as nothing short of a land grab, claiming that, if implemented, the city would be cherry-picking the region’s biggest commercial rates-generating areas, leaving the county council with such little income it would be virtually unable to maintain services.

Last Friday, the county council issued its own plan to extend the city boundary.

It proposed handing over control of areas on the periphery of the city, such as Frankfield, Douglas, Grange, and Ballyvolane, which would give the city council an immediate €16m extra in commercial rates and local property tax (LPT) each year.

If the Mackinnon report is adopted, the city council will benefit from an estimated €50m each year in rates and LPT.

The Implementation Oversight Group has now indicated in the strongest terms it considers that the boundary line is drawn by the Mackinnon report, which, the council says, is contrary to the clear undertaking given to them and their colleagues and are seeking urgent clarification from Mr Murphy.

They claimed that when the Mackinnon report was launched last May, the then minister with responsibility, Simon Coveney, commented that it was not written in stone and that matters were open for discussion and negotiation.

More in this section