Thursday, June 20, 2024

Cork County Council to write to Transport Infrastructure Ireland seeking a review of their planning policies in relation to national routes

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Stock image of County Hall.

Cork County Council has agreed to send a letter to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) requesting that they review their planning policies in relation to national routes.

The motion was brought before last Monday’s full council meeting by Fianna Fáil councillor Joe Carroll who requested that the local authority write to TII seeking a review on planning on the national routes.

Cllr Carroll said the current policy is ‘creating’ great hardship for families. “Their policy is creating great hardship for families all over the country, as sons and daughters of landowners are denied access on to these roads. They are also not allowed to exit via their parent’s existing entrance. This motion is a result of many queries to me over the last couple of years from people living along the N71. Sons or daughters of landowners are being told they are wasting their time because they won’t be allowed access on to the N71. This is impacting many families,” he said.

“This is a real killer for one-off housing in rural Ireland,” said Cllr Carroll. “The whole country is sterilised. There was a time when the applicant might be allowed access to the N71 or the national route via the parent’s entrance or access. That has been stopped. If somebody can’t build a house on their own land because they can’t come out on the road where are we going?

“There is a national route in different sections of the county. It is the same there. We are in here to keep life in rural Ireland. I am insisting that we send a strong letter to TII asking them to review their policy on their planning. Their policy is affecting rural Ireland,” he added.

Fianna Fáil councillor Patrick Gerard Murphy seconded the motion saying it is curtailing an awful lot of planning applications.

Fianna Fáil councillor Bernard Moynihan gave an example of this occurring in his locality. “I have a farmer on the N72 which is the road from Mallow to the Kerry bounds. He is building a shed. He is trying to get grant aid for the shed. He has to get planning in and out of the farm. There is an existing entrance but he has to get a proper entrance into it. I can’t get that planning over the line because TII are causing a difficulty. This is a crucial issue for people. I completely support this motion.”

Independent councillor Frank Roche also expressed his support for the motion. “I deal with a lot of farm disputes. One of the ways that any farming family can settle a dispute is by giving some of the other family members a site. People that are born in rural Ireland want to live in rural Ireland. It is a problem in every county. We need to address this properly.”

Fine Gael councillor Gerard Murphy suggested bringing the issue to the Rural Housing committee. “It is a reasonably complex issue. We need to deal with it in the rural housing committee and come back with recommendations because there are variations within the county. It needs to be teased out at the rural housing committee.”

“One size does not fit all when it comes to planning,” said Fianna Fáil councillor Gearóid Murphy. “The same should be the case when it comes to national routes. There are obviously major road safety which is always going to be a concern. Understanding the national route will be an issue. It would seem a no-brainer if there is already an entrance. It should be considered case by case.”

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn echoed the sentiments of his political colleagues. “I fully support the motion. It is one of the biggest issues we come across. All issues and individual cases should be dealt with separately.”

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