CORK’S two local authorities will have to work together to develop a new town which has the potential to provide homes for up to 13,000 people, it has been claimed.
Monard, just across the N20 from Blarney, has long been identified as an area that could be developed into a major satellite town on Cork’s commuter belt.
Cork County Council drew up the plans for the Monard Strategic Development Zone in the early part of the decade and sought planning for a 5,000 house scheme. These were initially refused by An Bord Pleanála on the grounds of a lack of infrastructure but granted under revised conditions in 2016.
The Council plans to build four villages and a town centre on almost 970 acres just north of Blackpool along the Cork to Mallow rail line.
The city boundary extension is due to come into effect in May with Douglas, Ballincollig, Blarney and Glanmire becoming part of the city, but Monard has not been included in the change.
Senator Colm Burke said it is important that both local authorities have input into Monard.
“Monard is not coming into the city and there is a proposal for it to be developed. It is staying in the county and it would be a totally new town in the same way as we created a new town in Ballincollig and Carrigaline. It is important that both local authorities work together on their plans and how the region develops,” he said.
“The Land Use and Transportation Study (LUTS) plan put all the emphasis on places like Blarney, Glanmire, Ballincollig and Carrigaline developing. Now the county will look at new areas to develop and one of those is Monard. It is important that whatever development takes place will also see an input from the city as well as the county. We must think similarly about the towns the county decides to now grow.
“I travel to Mallow early in the morning at 5.30am or 5.45am and the volume of the traffic coming towards the city even at that time is huge.
“People live in Mallow but the jobs are not there. It is important that when we do a long-term plan, we must ensure that as well as putting residential areas in county towns, we put in jobs as well.”