LANDS at a site on the city’s northside have been rezoned against the advice of city officials who warned that development at the land would “eat into the proposed area for open space for the North West Regional Park”.
At the final meeting on the Cork City Development Plan 2022-2028 on Monday, councillors voted to change the zoning of parcels of land at Hollyhill/Nash’s Boreen.
The lands are adjacent to and behind The Meadows estate. The first proposed amendment was to change the zoning of some of the lands from “open space” to “sustainable residential neighbourhoods” and the other was to rezone another section of the land from “open space” to “institutions and community”.
The latter could pave the way for the development of colleges, residential institutions and healthcare institutions.
For both proposed amendments, which arose from submissions during public consultation on the draft plan, councillors were advised by the executive not to change the zoning.
City council’s director of strategic and economic development, Fearghal Reidy said at Monday’s meeting that rezoning the lands would “eat into the proposed area for open space for the North West Regional Park”. Fine Gael councillor Damian Boylan said he disagreed with the executive on the recommendations.
“We can’t put together a city development plan for that area based on what might be, what could be,” Mr Boylan said, saying that he had yet to see any plans for the park in the area.
He also cited concerns for potential antisocial behaviour if the regional park was not overlooked by nearby housing and other developments. Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent said councillors had been advised by senior council officials at local area committee meetings “not to chip away at the public land that we have and other land we’ll need” to develop the new regional park.
“I would fear for the North West Regional Park if we take away large elements of the best flat land that we need for it,” he said.
Councillors passed the first amendment with 16 votes in favour and 13 against and the second amendment was voted through with 15 councillors for it and 14 against it.
In a statement to The Echo yesterday, a council spokesperson confirmed that Cork City Council remains “committed to advancing the objectives of the City Development Plan, including the development of the North West Regional Park”.