Large number of objections to Traveller horse facility at Leemount

Large number of objections to Traveller horse facility at Leemount
The grazing facility is to be located on a 14-hectare site at Leemount on the left of this picture.

THE National Roads Authority has joined more than 70 residents and community groups in objecting to a planned Traveller horse grazing facility to be located at Leemount on the banks of the river Lee.

The application has been lodged by the Cork Traveller Visibility Group on behalf of the Horse Initiative Steering Group.

It is proposed to accommodate 20 horses on the 14-hectare site located at Coolymurraghue, across the river from the Angler's Rest bar.

Following a horse seminar held in Cork city hall in 2013, it was agreed that an inter-agency group would be convened to establish and develop a viable horse project to create a positive response to Traveller horse ownership for Traveller men in Cork city.

In their application, the organisation said all people grazing horses on the site would be signed up to the Coolymurraghue Horse Association Club Rules that promote responsible horse ownership and welfare.

"The Horse Steering Group is fully committed to the development of a successful horse project to support responsible and culturally appropriate horse ownership for the Traveller community," the application states.

As well as horse grazing, the development will also include boundary fencings, gravel parking, storage containers a chemical toilet and CCTV cameras.

The application also states that the boundary fencing would be set back seven metres from the river bank to allow fishing to continue.

However, the application has met with significant opposition and a large number of objections and submissions have been lodged with the County Council Organisations including the Lee Road Residents Association, The Beautiful Lee Valley Group, Bridgewater Residents Association, Clogheen Kerry Pike Community Association, Kerry Pike Harriers Club, Lee Salmon Anglers and the Lower Inniscarra Residents Association have made submissions along with a large number of individual submissions from residents.

The objections largely focus on the increased traffic on the Lee Road and that the site in question regularly floods when the Lee bursts its banks.

Objectors also point out that no consultation has taken place with residents who live in the locality.

The Blarney Castle Estate Partnership, who hold fishing rights on the river, also lodged an objection saying the proposal would negatively affect the tourist amenity.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the National Roads Authority) also made a submission stating the site is under consideration as a route for the planned Northern Ring Road that will link Ballincollig to the Limerick Road and onto Glanmire.

"The Cork Northern Ring Scheme would be adversely impacted by the protected development if approved," the TII said.

Planners in County Hall are currently assessing the application and are due to make a decision later this month but have the option of requesting further information.

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