CORK County Council must do “everything possible” to protect a recreational area in Ringaskiddy that could be soon sold by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, a Cork councillor has said.
In April, the company announced it was seeking expressions of interest from potential purchasers relating to the potential sale of 47 acres of land at the western side of its site.
The site currently includes an amenity area of woodland that locals use.
Speaking at the Carrigaline municipal district meeting this week, Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath said there was huge concern among the community about the potential loss of a recreational area they have had for many decades.
The Carrigaline councillor said he was asking for the council to ensure the company provided full engagement with the community, in terms of the next steps for the site.
“I think the council needs to step up for the sake of the community and do everything possible to ensure everything possible is done to protect the area for the use of the community going forward.
"aybe that is a discussion we can have at a future point.”
Mr McGrath said that a letter in the door, which is how the potential sale of the land was announced, was not an acceptable way to deal with an issue like this.
In response MD officer Carol Conway said she has spoken to the company about the potential sale.
“I said if there are any more movements on it or when the land does come up for sale with an estate agent, if they would let us know and make contact with elected reps and they said they would increase communication with the local community.”
Following a query from The Echo, Novartis said they were conscious that public green spaces are in short supply in the Ringaskiddy area.
“The company has already engaged with the local community and will continue to do so throughout the process.
“Novartis is fully committed to the goal of securing the future of its Ringaskiddy site in a sustainable way that works for its employees, the local community and other key stakeholders.”
The company also said: “At this early stage in the process, Novartis intends to explore any likely market interest in these lands in one or more lots.
“This will involve seeking expressions of interest from potential purchasers which will be carefully evaluated within existing planning regulations.
“This proposal will not result in any fundamental change in current on-site operations.”