A CITY councillor is to propose the local authority buys a five-acre site in Glanmire to develop a regional park.
Ger Keohane (IND) said the former John Barleycorn hotel site could be combined with John O’Callaghan Park to create a green area for the people of Glanmire amid rapid housing construction.
The 5.4-acre site was pitched to retailers a few years ago but nothing has yet been developed on it.
Once a popular wedding venue, the hotel building and surrounds were purchased by a developer in 2004 for a reported €5m and had been the subject of a mixed-use planning application.
It is now zoned for town centre development but has been repeatedly vandalised in recent years and a fire in 2006 caused significant damage to the hotel building.
The building had dated back to the 18th century and had previously been a coach stop before being renovated and turned into a hotel.
The site backs onto the John O’Callaghan Park and part of the land is slated for the Glanmire and Riverstown Greenway which is being developed under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF).
Mr Keohane said: “The site is marked as a town development centre but speaking to a few people in the area, there is merit in suggesting Cork City Council should buy it and turn it into a regional park.
“There is LIHAF funding for the greenway in Glanmire and part of that runs through the John Barleycorn site.
“I spoke to the county engineer before the boundary expansion and the site is proving problematic in that there is no agreement with the current owner to allow the greenway to come through the land.
“I have spoken to city officials and they are dealing with negotiations. If it’s going to cost massive money, why not go further and turn it into a regional park?
“Most of it is a floodplain and will never be built on but with a bit of creative thinking, it could be linked in with the John O’Callaghan Park.
“There appears to be a consensus on this in Glanmire because with all the houses being built, there is no green space anywhere.
“With the extra revenue the city has coming out of Glanmire with property tax, rates and planning applications, I think it would be a step in the right direction,” Mr Keohane added.
Real estate company Cushman and Wakefield say the site is: “Ideally suited to mixed-use development including; residential, commercial, retail, healthcare/nursing home or leisure use subject to full planning permission”.