PLANS for the expansion of Cork's boundary to include Ballincollig, Blarney, Tower, Rochestown and Douglas into the city are moving forward with the Minister for Local Government rejecting counter proposals from the County Council for further debate on the issue.
In a letter to the Lord Mayor of Cork, Minister Eoghan Murphy said his Department has begun preparing the necessary legislation to expand Cork city in accordance with the boundary outlined in the Implementation Oversight Group's report of December 6.
It will expand Cork city to include a wider suburban area with further detailed discussions to take place in relation to Cork Airport, Glanmire, Hop Island and Inniscarra.
While approved by the City Council, the proposal was rejected by county councillors who said the new boundary would be "detrimental" to the county.
The county's alternative plan for the boundary would see land in Grange, Frankfield, Ballyvolane and Douglas ceded to the city but not Ballincollig, Blarney and Tower.
However, Minister Murphy has now written to the Lord Mayor of the city, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald stating: "In view of recent indications that agreement on the part of both local authorities in respect of the boundary alteration does not appear likely to be achieved, my Department has commenced work on the preparation of legislation.
"The relevant legal provisions will relate solely to implementation of the boundary outlined in the Oversight Group's report of 6 December 2017."
Mr Murpgy urged councillors and officials to embrace the new boundary as a matter of urgency and provide full support to the programme of work needed to implement the changes.
The Lord Mayor of Cork city, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said he welcomed the Minister's letter and said it was now important for the city and county to move forward and implement the boundary change.
"It is important that we keep the citizens and communities of Cork at the heart of this process," he said.
"I am glad to see work has begun on preparing the necessary legislation that will expand the city and keep Cork as the main economic driver of the southern region."