Douglas will 'die on its feet’ unless action is taken on dereliction and congestion

Douglas will 'die on its feet’ unless action is taken on dereliction and congestion
Cllr Deirdre FordePicture: Eddie O'Hare

DOUGLAS village will “die on its feet” if dereliction, traffic congestion, and public facilities are not addressed immediately by its new local authority, it has been claimed.

The Douglas Land Use Transportation Study (DLUTS) was drawn up by Cork County Council in 2013 as a masterplan to revitalise the public realm, reduce congestion, and provide a higher quality of life — but issues still remain.

The southern end of Douglas has since been subsumed into Cork City Council’s jurisdiction as part of last May’s city boundary expansion.

Councillor Deirdre Forde (FG) asked City Hall chief executive Ann Doherty to meet business owners, sports clubs, and community associations to discuss issues facing the village, such as dereliction, a lack of public space and sporting facilities, traffic, and infrastructure.

She said action must be taken immediately to address issues for the 27,000 population in the highly residential area.

“I am hoping the city council will fast-track a meeting with business people so the chief executive can hear the concerns of local people.

“Douglas village will die on its feet if we don’t pay immediate attention to the area,” she said.

Ms Forde said it was time for action to help Douglas.

“There are a lot of plans already done and now we need action. The council needs to start talking to shopkeepers and sports organisations, and priorities need to be drawn up,” she said.

“There is a lack of sports facilities for clubs and we have new schools going up and it’s important we deliver a rounded, holistic approach so that it’s a good place to live.

“The village will die if it doesn’t have immediate attention to expand facilities and create an environment that people are happy with.

“The village is choking with traffic and we need a second 24-hour bus to complement the 220 and 223 at Donnybrook Hill and that will take the cars out of Douglas and add to the ambience of Douglas village,” Ms Forde added.

Independent councillor Kieran McCarthy believes a new local area plan needs to be drawn up, and he will bring a motion before the council next month asking that one be created.

“Dereliction, slow bus movement, traffic congestion and a need for a plan to make Douglas have a village feel again are some of the major discussion points,” he said.

“Up to June last, there have been two administrations — Cork County Council and Cork City Council — governing the future of Douglas Village.

“Some collaborations on road networks were successful and others have not been.”

Mr McCarthy said there are a vast array of issues facing Douglas and its growing population.

“My motion calls for a local area plan to not only provide a roadmap in dealing with traffic but also a plan to deal with an array of issues for the growing population and employment targets, proposals for development, proposals for revised transport frameworks, urban design strategies, strategies to protect built heritage and natural heritage and biodiversity, environmental issues, and also add in the ongoing mitigation strategies on flood risk,” Mr McCarthy added.

Hundreds of new houses are planned for the area, with 472 homes proposed for Castletreasure in Douglas.

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