Thursday, 13 December 2018
Local Government Bill 2018: Report and Final Stages
The Minister has said that all is well and that a strategic approach has been worked out but I will give an example of my concerns here. I am not exactly sure where the rural area of Monard fits in vis-à-visthe border between city and county but I know that a planning application was submitted to develop a 1,000 acre greenfield site for homes for 13,000 people. An Bord Pleanála approved the plan. The development was supposed to have a rail link but there is nothing in the national development plan about an extension spur off the Cork-Mallow railway line in order to provide sustainable transport. There are plans to upgrade the road network, however, which will mean an additional 10,000 people driving into Cork from north of the city. This is yet another example of the unsustainable planning that Cork has experienced for decades. While I hear the Minister of State saying that there are new mechanisms in place to avoid the mistakes of the past, this project was approved only two years ago by An Bord Pleanála but the national development plan contains no provision for rail infrastructure. Back in 2016, Monard was part of the county area and was celebrating this as a win over the city. This type of thing is still going on.
The Minister of State said that he agreed with the arguments I made but did not explain why he could not accept my amendment. The amendment is not very contentious. It simply provides that the review would look closely at this type of development practice. Why would the Minister of State oppose an amendment with which he agrees?