Cloyne District Community Council
Cloyne Post Office, Church Street, Cloyne, Co Cork
Submission to Cork County Council on the Midleton Electoral Area Local Area Plan Review Outline Strategy 2010-2020
28th February 2010
Cloyne District Community Council welcomes the opportunity to gather the opinions of the population of the Cloyne Area and submit them to Cork County Council, together with the collective submission of the Community Council.
The responses we received indicate an engaged population who value their town/village and want to be involved in its future development.
The key areas highlighted were the need to provide more community amenities, including a playground for children, and the urgent need to prioritise the economic and employment potential of the town.
The successful halt in the population decline since the 2005 plan and the growth in residential development make a compelling case for a corresponding growth in economic and community development in the new plan.
The decisions made in this plan for 2010-2020 can provide a platform for the future sustainable development of Cloyne.
This submission is a statement of collective views, opinions or comments of the residents of the Cloyne area submitted to the Cloyne District Community Council on the draft MLAP being considered by Cork County Council, together with the collective views of the Community Council.
The Community Council engaged in a local consultation process to inform the population of Cloyne and its surrounding area, and to stimulate public debate as part of the democratic process. A leaflet was distributed door to door and after local religious services. A submission box was located in the local post office to allow the residents to deposit their submissions. The individual responses were then read, collated and handed into Cork County Council on 25/2/10, as appropriate valid submissions on the Midleton Electoral Area Local Area Plan Review Outline Strategy 2010-2020, for inclusion and consideration in the Draft Plan.
Cloyne District Community Council
The Cloyne District Community Council (Community Council) is made up of 24 elected members (12 areas and 2 members from each area) following an election held in October 2008 under the auspices of Muintir Na Tíre. The main aim of the Council is the involvement of all the people in Cloyne and its environs in the promotion of the educational, cultural and economic welfare of the whole community. Cloyne District Community Council is a constituent member of Muintir Na Tíre and is taking an active role in the future development of the local community here in the Cloyne district. It will investigate ways to liaise with the wider community in relation to the development of amenity and community facilities. The Council plans to engage with all other local bodies and we hope that we can facilitate a coordinated approach to meet the needs of the local community.
Names Position Telephone Email
Dermot Barry Chairman 087 2869643 Dermotemail@example.com
Ken Heffernan Secretary 087 9963334 firstname.lastname@example.org
Purpose of Submission
While the issues facing Cloyne and other villages have been outlined in broad terms in the local area plan strategy, the Community Council believe it is important to submit the specific proposals and comments made by the residents. While we recognise that the draft plan is primarily concerned with spatial issues and land use, the Community Council believe that it is critical to identify activities and decisions that can make a real and positive contribution to the short term and long term economic and social development in Cloyne.
This submission is part of a planned and integrated strategy to promote participation in local area planning, improve the local environment, develop area enhancement plans based on the views of the local community and improve the links with Cork County Council and other statutory bodies. While we recognise that the LAP cannot deliver all the issues in the submission, the Community Council believe that it is important to include the issues raised by this submission and the responses of the residents as part of the supportive text in the final Local Area Plan.
Cork County Council has established Key Villages as the primary focus for the development of rural areas and the provision of local services, by encouraging and facilitating population growth, by supporting the retention and improvement of key facilities, including infrastructure and public transport. Cloyne had been designated as a “Key Village” within Metropolitan Cork in the Local Area Plan and we have used the term “Village” in keeping with that terminology. It is noted that some residents refer to Cloyne as a town rather than as a village.
The submissions have been grouped into the main issues as raised by the residents.
The developers of the recently built housing estates were required to make provision for sport and recreational infrastructure as an integral part of their planning application but these facilities have not been provided and as a result there is a serious deficit of community facilities in Cloyne. In such cases there is an onus on Cork County Council to use part of the development levy paid by developers to the County Council to provide alternative provisions. Such facilities are severely lacking in Cloyne.
These community facilities should be located where they can best meet the needs of the community they are intended to serve. In this instance the Community Council have identified an area at the Parochial Hall next to the centre of the village which is presently zoned for light industrial use and which it is submitted is more suitable for community amenities. The two Amenity Walks proposed in the 2005 plan have not been provided and are sorely missed.
There is no playground in Cloyne. The Community Council has identified a site suitable for a children’s playground. The site identified is next to the Parochial Hall, stretching back alongside the new GAA pitch. It would have ease of access by pedestrians, cyclists and wheelchair users.
There is also good access for private car users so the playground could also be used by the wider community. The footpath and street lighting out from the village crossroads would need to be upgraded by the County Council in line with the increase in usage.
The existing community hall is not available to the public at the moment and while there is a plan to change this in the near future it is in need of renovation and improvement. Once completed it can serve as a valuable resource to the entire population. Parking adjacent to the Hall is available and there is room for further community facilities such as a playground. The Community Council intend to use it as a location for clubs and groups serving all the demographics and age groups of the area. However the existing zoning around the Parochial Hall will curtail its future expansion and use and the zoning for this area in the new Plan should reflect the community based nature of this building and its surrounding land.
Because Cloyne has developed as a dormitory village with most of its residents working in other towns or in Cork it is important to create a local meeting and recreational space for the young people. While we have active GAA and sports clubs there is a need to include those who do not take part in these sporting activities with the provision of alternative community based facilities within the area. The growth in population in the village in recent years has meant that there are now a substantial number of families with young children and teenagers living in the area and the facilities for such a demographic makeup have not been secured by the County Council as part of the overall development of the village area. The local Football Club is expanding and is having to consider training facilities in Ballycotton due to the lack of same in Cloyne.
The existing road access was highlighted as an area of concern. Issues submitted by the residents include the provision for improved public footpaths and safer bus stop areas, an enhanced streetscape, and the need for better road surfaces, additional or improved parking spaces and the provision of traffic calming measures, improved road markings and pedestrian crossings.
It is recognised that the approach road from Midleton has been resurfaced recently, but that resurfacing stops at the village entrance and the road surface condition through the village out along the Ballymaloe Road is bad and a danger to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians. The state of the main road through the village gives an unjustified air of neglect to Cloyne.
The issue of the currently proposed eastern “by-pass” through the Parc Na hAbhann and Cois Na hAbhann estates to the Ballymaloe road, should be reconsidered in light of the fact that it goes through two housing estates and may be subject to heavy and speeding traffic avoiding the village crossroads, and if it is to be completed it should be subject to “pinch-points” to make vehicles yield in turn, rather than “speed bumps” which would be inappropriate. In addition this road runs alongside the new GAA pitch and when activities take place there it is subject to parking along both sides, making passing traffic impossible.
At present there is no marked bus stop in Cloyne. By custom the bus stops at the crossroads in the village centre and this causes traffic chaos, as for the junction to work properly there can be no traffic blockages on this junction. The Community Council believe that a bus stop may be appropriately located, if even on a temporary basis, next to the filling station on the site of the now demolished derelict cottages on River Street.
As Cloyne’s village centre population has increased so too has the amount of cars parked there increased. Some additional parking has been provided on a site at Chapel Street but there remains a problem with parking on Church, Street River Street and Rock Street, which causes traffic disruption as a result.
The County Council may wish to carry out a detailed traffic management survey to determine how best to deal with the issue and suggestions made locally to assist include – preventing “head-on” parking on Rock Street, ornamental metal bollards to prevent parking on footpaths. It would be hoped to support and assist local businesses with parking issues rather than to turn drivers away from using the commercial and other facilities in the village.
The straight Churchtown South road and Midleton road entrances to Cloyne and the area around the school are prone to speeding vehicles. The vehicles will tend to slow down when they reach the village buildings and parked cars which do not allow for passing traffic. It has been suggested that these areas may benefit from “pinch-points” to make vehicles yield in turn at these areas, rather than “speed bumps” which would be inappropriate.
In conjunction with other measures the appropriate use of road markings such as double yellow lines, loading bays, parking bays, school warnings, would help to address traffic issues.
The village centre contains a cross road which can be difficult to negotiate for pedestrians and parents with children. Pedestrian crossings at appropriate locations around the village should be provided to allow for the safe flow of such pedestrian traffic around the village.
Litter & Dumping
Fly tipping is an issue for the village with so many derelict/undeveloped sites presenting an easy opportunity for illegal dumping. The lack of oversight and security around the current recycling bins means that illegal dumping there will continue to be a problem.
The village has had an active local volunteer litter picking rota and the Community Council intend to consider a Tidy Towns sub-committee. The County Council can assist with action on the issues identified in this document and appropriate enhancement of the streetscape and local amenities.
Appropriate signage and visits by dog/litter wardens from the County Council will help to address this issue, which is causing problems in the area.
The main road through the village is not given enough priority for road sweeping on a regular basis with the result that fallen leaves and litter line the road.
The current recycling facilities may be more appropriately relocated nearer to the centre to improve security and surveillance on illegal dumping and promote ease of use.
The County Council must ensure that action is taken in relation to this as soon as notified.
The village of Cloyne has a wealth of natural and built heritage. There are six buildings, or other structures, which are entered in the Record of Protected Structures, including Cloyne Cathedral, The Round Tower, Saint Colman’s Roman Catholic Church and 18th Century Warehouses. There is also an extensive cave system to the east of Cloyne village centre which is included as part of an Architectural Conservation Area. The review of the LAP represents an ideal opportunity to use one of the existing historical buildings as a museum or interpretative centre for artefacts of the local area such as the Cross of Cloyne, Gold Disc of Cloyne, Seal of Cloyne, Seal of Bishop Berkley, Piperoll of Cloyne (feudal land system), Berkley Memorial, Famine Memorial, Hedge School History, The Fitzgerald Harp, last residence of William Penn (founder of the state of Pennsylvania). ( Ref. the Book of Cloyne)
Ref. 5.2.2 in planning conservation of the Cork County Development Plan 1996 and special objectives Ref.C-01
This wealth of built heritage is treasured by the residents and their submissions reflect their awareness of the potential value to the future development of the town and their concern at the continued neglect of such treasures. The failure of all attempts to develop the round tower and the caves is detrimental to any development of tourism in the area. This represents a real economic cost in lost employment opportunities and economic development in the village. Any development of these resources should be directly linked to the creation of employment opportunities in the village. The Community Council has recently published a tourism promotion brochure/map identifying the local area attractions and heritage. It should be noted that the Cloyne Round Tower is one of only two Round Towers in the whole of County Cork and up to recently it allowed for public access. The potential to develop the cave systems under Cloyne as identified in the 2005 plan has gone unfulfilled, while attractions such as Aillwee and Mitchelstown Caves continue to flourish. It is submitted that the Local Area Plan should support the tourism potential in the area.
The completion of unfinished housing estates was highlighted as an area of concern. The quality of the water supply was considered inadequate by many residents of the village and smells from the existing sewerage system were described as offensive.
Given the recent expansion in new homes in the area there is a greater need for the provision of recreation and amenities.
Completion of estates
Some of the estates in the village have not been completed due to the economic downturn and the residents of the Dun Orga estate have suffered from strong sewage smells and overflowing sewerage with little sign of any resolution.
When considering the rezoning of extra land for housing it should be noted that Lios an Ime and Cois na Criann estates have not fulfilled their quota of houses and there are still some unused housing units to be provided there.
Cork County Council’s Own Housing
The County Council has recently completed its own housing development at River Street East comprising about 17 dwellings. It is noted that there has been no provision of community/amenity/recreational facilities or areas in conjunction with this housing development and the County Council must make such provision now.
In terms of local employment there is a lack of suitable premises for small business or light industries and such existing zoned land is in an unsuitable location and has not been developed. The current plan identifies (I-01) parochial land around the Parochial Hall for this use. However any such development would only add to the traffic congestion through the town and add to the parking chaos. In the 2005 LAP concerns were noted in the supporting text that the location might be incompatible with the existing residential development. It would be the Community Council’s hope to develop the Parochial Hall area for community uses in the near future.
The Community Council believe that the Castlemary area may be more suitable for light industrial development as it has direct access from the main Whitegate road. Many of the local businesses have stated that the lack of zoning in this area is preventing any business expansion and employment creation. If the land in the Castlemary area was zoned for light industrial use it would facilitate the creation of a start up incubation centre or an enterprise centre which would be beneficial to the village and the surrounding areas. We are fortunate to have organisations such as SECAD promoting business development and it is frustrating to be unable to take full advantage of their services. Unemployment and long term unemployment are important considerations for the community and the sustainability of the village.
The Community Council believes that the issue of employment within the village is important for the continued sustainability and vitality of the village and therefore an appropriate area should be zoned to facilitate such employment opportunities. As far back as the 1996 Cork County Development Plan development plan Cloyne was designated a priority village in an attempt to halt the population decline and promote village renewal. While this has been relatively successful and there has been much residential development, there is more than ever a need to balance the mix of residential and other forms of development such as commercial, industrial and retail as well as providing a range of community facilities.
The last Plan identified an area to the South East of the village centre for Light Industrial Use and it has transpired that this zoning was incompatible with the need to protect a vital water source in that area and therefore there is in effect little or none such zoning in the area for the new Plan. There are existing businesses in the area that would welcome the opportunity to expand but cannot due to physical limitations on site and the lack of appropriate zoning in the area.
The residents appreciate the recent demolition of the derelict cottages on the approach road but the resulting unattractive site detracts from the appearance of the town and its use as a Village Notice Board/Park/Amenity Walk/Bus Stop should be considered in the short term.
There is a need for the provision of a rear entrance for the local school, as the front entrance is on to a busy road and is congested at school times. Such a new entrance to the rear of the present one may be facilitated by the completion of the proposed Western section of the village “by-pass”. The current plan has housing zoned in the area to the North of the school and consideration should be given to how the school could be expanded in the future if this housing were to be provided, resulting in a need for more school places. The school currently has no playing pitch attached.
Cloyne has been classified as a key village and has benefited from the Local Area Plan of 2005. The population decline, which was a concern of the past, has been halted and there has been increased residential development in the area. Facing into the future there are some key issues and challenges. Some of these issues are of strategic importance to the future development of the village and some are of global importance.
Overall Strategic issues
East cork is designated as an unemployment blackspot with a 70% increase in the live register. It is submitted that the appropriate zoning of land in Cloyne is vital to its proper development in the next 10 years. Any changes in land use should consider the possible employment potential and address any barriers to creating new employment opportunities while addressing the need to catch up with Community Amenity provision, which has not been provided in the boom years.
It is submitted that the County Council must ensure that the appropriate basic “skeleton” of sewage, water, electricity and roads structure be in place before development takes place and puts a further strain on these already overloaded networks.
Traffic and Access
The future expansion of the village to certain areas may be limited when considering the typography of the area and when zoning for the future consideration should be given to how traffic will flow to, around and through the village, bearing in mind the current problems.
The provision of adequate community facilities are an essential element in strengthening community involvement across all sectors and to promote a cohesive, vibrant village which will continue to be an attractive place to live, visit and work.
The built environment in Cloyne is rich and ancient and has survived despite its being overlooked over the years. The local residents see the potential in the built heritage to assist in the larger promotion of the East Cork area as a destination for tourism with a view to associated employment opportunities for the area. In addition the streetscape and village zoning mix should be appealing and appropriate to the residents who move within it on a daily basis.
Cloyne District Community Council – 28th February 2010