Public meetings on Cork boundary changes to be held

Proposal to extend city limits into Cork county proving controversial

 Cork docks and port. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Cork docks and port. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Cork City Council is to hold a series of public information meetings to explain how it expects a controversial proposed expansion of the city boundary into the Cork County Council area will work.

Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said Cork City Council had on Tuesday presented a detailed outline of the expansion plan to a group appointed to oversee the proposed move. The boundary changes were recommended in the Mackinnon report on local government reform in Cork.

The proposed boundary changes – which would see the geographical area of the city increase by 84.5 per cent and its current population immediately increase by 31.2 per cent to 164,915 – are a source of growing tension between the two councils.

The report recommended areas such as Douglas, Ballincollig, Blarney, Monard and Carrigtwohill would move across the county boundary into the city area. A counter offer by the county council of the transfer of a smaller number of areas has been rejected by the city council.

The presentation included a map based on an assessment by city council officials showing how Cork city is expected to develop over the next 50 years. It shows how Cork City Council has tailored the broad boundary extension line to take account of local topography and existing developments such as Cork Airport. It was designed to ensure estates and other developments are not divided as a result of the move.

Mr Fitzgerald said the revised assessment of the boundary line was based on local area plans prepared by Cork County Council for the areas under its control that surround the city but sit within the Mackinnon expansion area.

He said the plans show the county council intends that there will be a continuous corridor of development from Midleton through Carrigtwohill and Glounthaune through the city to Curraheen and Ballincollig. Anyone travelling along this corridor would have to go as far as Killumney outside Ballincollig to encounter a rural environment and such a large area needs to be governed by a single urban authority if it is to have quality public transport, housing, recreation and shopping facilities, Mr Fitzgerald said.

However, Cork County Council last night said its chief executive Tim Lucey had informed the group appointed to handle the boundary changes that his council members were not accepting the Mackinnon report as they did not agree with what it proposed.

Mr Lucey said that, as a result, he was not in a position to engage in deliberations on any boundary proposal submitted by representatives of Cork City Council that accords with the Mackinnon report.

“Cork County Council engaged with the group today on a without prejudice basis. It demonstrated its commitment to a boundary review process by presenting the group with a copy of the boundary proposal document which it prepared in early August,” he said in a statement.