Cork to dream big on docklands

Cork to dream big on docklands

Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council pictured at ‘Future of Corks Doclands Technical Consultation Event, The Clayton Hotel. Picture: Clare Keogh

CORK is being asked to dream big with their suggestions for the proposed City Docks and Tivoli Docks Local Area Plans.

On Monday, the Council announced an ambitious €1 billion docklands project which would see over 220 hectares of land adjacent to the river transformed into an urban quarter. It published two briefing documents, one each for Cork City and Tivoli Docks, and held workshops on Tuesday, June 20 to hear the views of locals, business people and other interested parties.

There were more than 170 attendees at the booked-out workshops.

Patrick Ledwidge, Deputy Chief Executive of Cork City Council described the workshops as ‘very successful’.

“There was a lot of engagement at each session and plenty of ideas and reaction. This stage of the process is like throwing a stone in a pond and seeing how the ripples spread.” 

Once draft plans are put together, there is a long process to get ideas to completion, but the public are encouraged to be optimistic and far-reaching in their ideas and suggestions.

“If an idea is good enough, money can be found. It can take a long time and sometimes the end result may not be what was initially envisaged but that is no reason not to aim high.

Artists impressions from the city's 2012 docklands public realm report showing how streets in the new docklands development might look.
Artists impressions from the city's 2012 docklands public realm report showing how streets in the new docklands development might look.

“Yes, it can take years but eventually things get done.” Mr Ledwidge cited Marina Park as an example, where the Cork City Council undertook a compulsory purchase order as far back as 2006. Plans for the Park eventually dovetailed with the redevelopment of Pairc Uí Chaoimh and Mr Ledwidge described it as ‘a good example of how things can come together’.

“This is a really exciting time for these areas of Cork and an opportunity to transform the city for the better.” Cork Chamber welcomed the commencement of the public consultation process.

Chamber President Bill O’Connell said: “The development of the Docklands has unprecedented potential to act as a major catalyst for the city and wider region.

“We have the opportunity to create thriving new office, residential and public realm spaces that link with our cultural and natural heritage.” Encouraging submissions, Mr O’Connell said: “This process affords us all as a community to input into the development of plans for our local areas.” Cork Chamber encouraged businesses to either engage with the process individually or to contact the Chamber with any thoughts and views.

Cork City Council is accepting written submissions to inform the plan-making process until Friday, July 7 at 1pm. Interested parties can submit online at consult.corkcity.ie or by post to: Local Area Plan Submissions, Planning Policy Section, Strategic Planning and Economic Development, City Hall, Cork.

Once the submission period ends, the Council will absorb the reaction and take suggestions on board. They hope to publish draft plans informed by the submissions in the first quarter of 2018.

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