Anger as new Cork motorway gets the green light

Following the major decision yesterday to grant permission for the N28 Ringaskiddy Motorway Rob McNamara examines the project and the reaction to the decision.
Anger as new Cork motorway gets the green light
Map of the Ringaskiddy M28 Motorway.

THE concerns of residents regarding the M28 route were ‘ignored’ by An Bord Pleanála say local representatives.

Following the granting of permission for a 240,000 tonne-a-year incinerator in Ringaskiddy and plans for a €80m Port of Cork container terminal development the decision to grant permission for the motorway seemed inevitable.

However, after a 12-day oral hearing last year in which nearly 140 submissions were considered on the project, there is anger that the route has not been significantly altered to take these into consideration.

View from Rowan Hill over Bloomfield interchange
View from Rowan Hill over Bloomfield interchange

Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer said there is an acceptance the motorway is required to allow economic growth in Cork but there will be a large price to pay for residents in the areas it runs through.

He has called for the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Cork County Council to engage with residents now and discuss ways to reduce the impact of the motorway on people’s lives.

“It’s disappointing from the point of view that [the An Bord Pleanála] doesn’t seem to have taken on board some of the genuine submissions and concerns of residents,” he said.

One of the meetings of the M28 Steering group in Rochestown last year. Picture: Ger Bonus
One of the meetings of the M28 Steering group in Rochestown last year. Picture: Ger Bonus

“There is no major change in the route proposed. Residents took a very practical decision around the development in terms of trying to mitigate interference in the area adjacent to it. It’s disappointing that a lot of the issues raised at the oral hearing have been ignored.

“The M28 is a vital piece of infrastructure that the Government has committed to funding but I hope that in recognising the decision there is mitigation in terms of noise.

“There should be active engagement by NTA and Cork County Council with residents as we progress the motorway. We all recognise the importance of the M28 given the importance of it to the Cork area.”

Douglas-based Councillor Mary Rose Desmond (FF) has described the route as a “disgrace” and said she feels the community has been disregarded by the board after they changed their plans last year from a design which ran much further south of the village of Ringaskiddy.

“There isn’t a mention of the community until you get to page six [of the report],” she said.

“It says it will not have significant negative effects on the community and that’s just not factually accurate. There’s no doubting this will have negative effects on a wide stretching community.

“When you look at the Ringaskiddy side of it, I think that is an absolute disgrace. There was a proposed route there which was in place until the end half of 2017 which the people of Ringaskiddy had no issue with.

“There is a traffic issue for the Carrigaline side but this is not the answer. It’s not going to resolve the traffic and I challenge anyone to come back in 10 years and say it has.”

Carrigaline-based Seamus McGrath (FF) said the route is not going into construction immediately and could have been redesigned.

“In my view, this scheme will not commence until after the Dunkettle Interchange project is finished which will take almost five years from now, therefore there was adequate time to go back to the drawing board on the route design.

“There is clearly a major need to upgrade the road network from Carrigaline and Ringaskiddy to the N40, but there was also sufficient time to get a more acceptable design without ultimately delaying the project,” he added.

Passage West councillor Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said: “It was clear after Indaver had been granted planning permission that this would happen because the permission for that was dependent on the motorway. The residents’ submissions were ignored.” Green Party South Central representative Lorna Bogue described the design as a “sledgehammer approach” to planning.

“This route won’t solve the traffic problems of the area and will create several new ones. New bottlenecks will be created,” she added.

Following the decision yesterday to grant permission for the N28 Ringaskiddy Motorway Rob McNamara examines the project and
the reaction to it being cleared.

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