25 November 2020, “Permanently pedestrianising one of Cork’s best-loved amenities has been cemented by “overwhelming public support” and signals a sea change in the urge people have for increased green and liveable city areas. That is according to independent Cork city councillor, Kieran McCarthy”. ‘Overwhelming’ support for permanent car ban at Cork’s Marina, ‘Overwhelming’ support for permanent car ban at Cork’s Marina (irishexaminer.com)
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed the conclusion of the public consultation process on the permanent closure of the Marina from its junction with the northern entrance of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to its junction with Church Avenue, to vehicular traffic 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “The report arising from the consultation was discussed by local councillors at their local area committee meeting this week. Two hundred and fifty (250) submissions were received in relation to the proposed scheme. A total of 224 of the submissions expressed support for the proposal and in some cases suggested additional work or amendments to the proposal. A total of 21 of the submissions objected to the proposal. Overall, there was strong support for the proposal presented for the pedestrianisation of The Marina”.
The City Council propose to respond to a number of recurring items that were raised by the general public. The current proposed pedestrianisation on The Marina will be given effect initially by installing removable bollards on The Marina at its junction with the northern Páirc Uí Chaoimh entrance and with its junction with Church Avenue. A consultant has been appointed to look at the feasibility of providing fixtures of a more permanent nature such as automatic rising bollards at this location.
The current proposed pedestrianisation on The Marina will only provide access to the area for emergency vehicles and vehicles used for the purposes of the operation, maintenance, repair and improvement of services & infrastructure. A car park accommodating approximately 200 vehicles and disabled bays has been provided as part of the Marina Park development and is located at Centre Park Rd/ Marina junction running west towards Shandon Rowing Club
Requests to extend the scheme to the City Centre is outside the scope of this proposal, however, this may be considered as part of the development of the South Docklands area.
Public realm improvements such as the resurfacing, shared space, public lighting, seating, etc. are outside of the scope of this proposal, however funding is being sought to upgrade The Marina. Subject to the allocation of funding, a scheme will be designed and be brought forward for consideration to the public and local councillors.
Following assessment of the submissions received and the issues raised at the local area committee meeting, the report has now been referred for voting upon at the mid-December Council meeting of Cork City Council.
Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed that Garryduff Woods is fully open to the public again. This followed a series of works by the wood’s manager, An Coillte. It was agreed earlier this year with the local community that the next step was to replant the area with broadleafs. The programme of works already completed included hedge cutting, tree surgery and road maintenance prior to the felling, the felling itself, ground cultivation and timber haulage.
The site is now prepared for planting which is planned to take place in quarter one of 2021 when plants are available.
The site does not need to be closed for this operation as it is manual work only and no heavy machinery will be required. The replanting will consist of the following species – Oak (2 hectares), Birch (2 hectares), Scots Pine (1.4 hectare), Norway Spruce (1 hectare). The Oak, Birch and Scots Pine will be planted, mixed at a ‘stocking rate’ of 3,300 stems per hectare for the oak and birch and 2,500 stems per hectare for the Scots Pine. Norway Spruce to be planted in small groups throughout the site at 2,500 stems per hectare.
This site will be managed primarily for biodiversity values and a critical element of this is will be future interventions that will form part of the overall biodiversity management plan. Such interventions are necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of the biodiversity values for e.g. light thinnings to favour Oak, which will be done manually.
The Norway Spruce cones are favoured by red squirrels due to the soft cones that it produces. The cones produced by the Scots Pine will also add to the diversity of food source for red squirrels on site. This new replanting will also allow for the staggering of age-classes should help the red squirrel and the biodiversity value of the site.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “Since the boundary extension last year, Cork City has inherited this very beautiful 26-hectare forest amenity managed by An Coillte. It is a site I am rediscovering over the past year especially from a historical perspective of the Old Court estate and the Civil War Battle of Douglas in 1922, which was held across the woods. Plus I have been vocal many times in the Council Chamber that the City Council needs an effective urban forestry management strategy within the city area. Such a strategy should also connect to other entities such as An Coillte for cross collaborative work”.
19 November 2020, “In the past year there are some really great examples of conversions of old buildings into tasteful apartments – such as on the South Terrace, George’s Quay, and Langford Row. There is a very real need for accommodation within the city centre,” Cllr Kieran McCarthy said. Proposal for mixed-use development at iconic Cork building could ‘breathe new life into the area”. https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Proposal-for-mixed-use-development-at-iconic-Cork-building-could-breathe-new-life-into-the-area-32d526d8-e01f-42dd-8056-51ba388d876a-ds?fbclid=IwAR1CNyW5uVLTIZx6buYXfZwKRTXp3QoE3YLrA43LvmglcPWNLzGMQbLdA2o
Independent Cllr Kieran McCarthy has welcomed progress on Marina Park. In response to Cllr McCarthy’s question on the floor of the most recent City Council meeting to the Chief Executive, he was informed that Phase 1 of the contract commenced in early March 2020 with a scheduled completion date of May 2021. Works were suspended on 30 March due to the COVID – 19 lock-down in accordance with Government guidelines. Works resumed on site on 18 May following the lifting of restrictions for construction works. The contractor is making great progress on the works and is confident of achieving the scheduled completion date of May 2021.
Phase One, which covers the area from the Marquee Link Road (linking Monahan and Centre Park roads) to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, also incorporates new pathways, the installation of sunken lawn areas as well as the diversion of a watercourse.
The current works comprise the creation of a new public car park at the Shandon Boat Club end of the Marina, as well as a new cycle lane and pedestrian walkway (all completed), and the installation of a prominent red steel pavilion on the site of, and reproducing, the essence of the central hall of the former Munster Showgrounds.
Liam Casey, senior parks and landscape officer with the Council has noted in recent weeks that this structure will be roofed, but the sides will not be enclosed, and there will be opportunities for coffee pods and outdoor seating and arts and crafts.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “there is local excitement about the Marina Park development. It is now over seven years since the Part 8 document came before the City Council. The park was held up in the early days due to a lack of funding but has since received funded from an Urban EU funding pot. This is enough finances to develop phase one of the park, which is basically the foundations and greening of the former brownfields site of the former showgrounds”.
However, Cork City Council anticipates that it will go to tender later in November for the second phase of its bold Marina Park project which will ultimately see the formation of a contemporary city park, about five times the size of the famous FitzGerald’s Park. Phase 2, which concentrates on development to the east of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, takes in the Atlantic Pond and continues down as far as Blackrock Village.
9 November 2020, Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy said it was welcome that the report “reflected upon the enthusiasm expressed in submissions and the issues raised by the submissions”. “Funding now needs to be secured for this Part 8 to progress past this report,” he continued, City Hall gives green light for new pedestrian access to Cork’s Tramore Valley Park, https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/City-Hall-gives-green-light-for-new-pedestrian-access-to-Corks-Tramore-Valley-Park-6b782f19-928d-4872-8f1b-e25cc230fa64-ds
Kieran’s Cork City Council Speech, 9 November 2020:
This part 8 is another very important addition to the story of Tramore Valley Park. I am happy that the Park 8 report has reflected upon the enthusiasm expressed in submissions and the issues raised by the submissions.
It is very important that Half-Moon Lane does not become an additional car park for the Park but a value added pedestrian and cycling access point. Funding now needs to be secured for this part 8 report to progress past this report.
Tramore park is just in its first phase of development and this public consultation on a Half Moon Lane opening is about ensuring that family, community and park life all remains at the heart of the southern suburbs.
Phases two and three of the park, such as a bridge crossing from Grange, are the next elements to chase now for the future and to engage the public on their perspectives.
It is important to acknowledge at public meetings such as this how far the site has come – Over the ten years, the old landfill site of what is now Tramore Valley Park has undergone a €40m decontamination and remediation process – part of which saw the site capped and landscaped, internal roads and walkways constructed, new sports pitches put down, a BMX track developed, and a large multi-use event space created”.
During the last few months in particular Tramore Valley Park was a second home to many people. Great credit is due to the park wardens onsite who are always friendly, as are the recycling staff. Tramore Valley Park has etched itself a jewel in the growing necklace of parks in the city, which are highly significant to the mental and physical health of citizens.
28 October 2020, “Many have emphasised to me the importance of this historic tree-lined avenue to public health and recreational use. However, I have also received correspondence from those who wish to tweak some of the parts of the pedestrianisation proposals. It is important that everyone gets their voice heard on the future of the Marina,” Cllr McCarthy said, Final few days for public to have their say on the permanent pedestrianisation of the Marina,https://www.echolive.ie/corknews/Final-few-days-for-public-to-have-their-say-on-the-permanent-pedestrianisation-of-the-Marina-6d933ca1-15f3-4b64-b1f2-142482fd3445-ds
Independent Councillor Kieran McCarthy wishes to remind the public on the public consultation, which remains open till 2 November for proposals by Cork City Council to continue restricting vehicular access to The Marina. The proposal is to close the Marina to cars 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, from its junction with the northern entrance of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to its junction with Church Avenue.
Cllr McCarthy noted: “To open up public consultation on the pedestrianisation of The Marina is very welcome. Up to this year and for many years previously, the pedestrianisation process had been a goal of local councillors and many local residents, and in fairness to Roads officials and the Director of Operations they have responded to public calls”.
Cllr McCarthy continued: “During Covid-19 lockdowns, the pedestrianisation of the road as a temporary measure was the life-saver for many people who needed the outlet to walk and just take time-out during the 2km and 5km restrictions. I have had much correspondence by locals and other Corkonians calling for the continuance of the pedestrianisation beyond the phase 1 temporary measures. Many have emphasised to me the importance of this historic tree-lined avenue to public health and recreational use. However, I have also received correspondence from those who wish to tweak some of the parts of the pedestrianisation proposals. It is important that everyone gets their voice heard on the future of the Marina”.
Submissions on the proposal may be made via this online consultation portal, https://consult.corkcity.ie/. Alternatively, the documents will be made available for inspection by appointment at Reception Desk, Cork City Council, City Hall, Cork to Monday 2 November 2020 from 9am to 4.30pm. Please phone 021-4924000 in advance to arrange an appointment. Representations may be also be made in writing to “Senior Executive Engineer, Traffic Operations, Room 339, City Hall, Cork”. The closing date for receipt of submissions is on or before 5pm on Monday 2 November 2020.