Cobh Municipality Independent Councillor Claire Cullinane has called on the public to voice their objections to a major planning redevelopment of Cork Harbour by the Port of Cork. If An Bord Pleanala grant the planning it would see the Port of Cork transfer it’s cargo handling activities from Tivoli and the City Quays to Ringaskiddy. According to the Port of Cork website the planned redevelopment in Ringaskiddy is designed to integrate closely with and play a catalytic role in the achievement of the strategy for the sustainable development of the Cork Region and Hinterland.
Councillor Cullinane says that if this move goes ahead it will have long term repercussions on tourism, quality of life and leisure in the harbour. “There are many questionable issues around this redevelopment. Including the fact that the larger version of the planning was turned down in 2008 because of lack of rail access and better quality roads. Neither of these 2 issues have changed in any way. ” The councillor added “from a Cobh perspective it is very much the issue of 4 to 5 containers high being the visual from Whitepoint which is our main beach along the waterfront and one of the greatest picnic and walking areas for visitors to the town. As a tourist town we have to be aware of the visual impact. A lot of our water sports providers would also come up that far and further to show the coastline
The noise element is also of concern in that water will amplify sound and there is no possible sound barrier for a cross the river. The big issue with sound is also that there is a high risk of falling containers with this kind of industry and the sound is shocking if and when this happens. This going out across the water to one of the most peaceful and restful parts of Cobh where many elderly and young walk along the 5 foot way could ruin this area completely. It’s my understanding that falling containers is part and parcel of this industry.” Mayor of whitegate and owner of Cork Harbour Tours Martin Murray says he would be in favour of the relocation. “Currently we have four key industries in 1km sq of Whitegate and we live in harmony. Shipping has to go somewhere. Locating Port facilities to Ringaskiddy would make it easier for ships to navigate and would work as a cost saving measure as shipping traffic would have less of a commute. If anything this relocation should bring more money to Cobh. ”
Closing date for objections to these plans are Thursday 26th June 2014 at 5:30pm