Members of the public have been issued with an opening invitation to have their say on the key issues that will guide the direction that Cork County will take over the coming decade.
Cork County Council has taken the first tentative steps in the preparation a new County Development Plan (2022-2028), which it is intended will replace the current plan which was adopted back in 2014.
Aptly entitled ' Your Home, Your Future, Your Views' a comprehensive 56-page consultation document, which can be viewed by following the link at www.corkcoco.ie, highlights a wide range of issues that the new plan will need to take into consideration.
It will differ from the previous plan in two key areas, the first being that it will take into account the newly redrawn County Council administrative area following the extension of the City Council boundary.
The new plan will also incorporate all the settlements of the County replacing the eight current Municipal District Local Area Plans adopted in 2017 and the Town Development Plans for the nine former Town Councils.
A key element of the new plan will be to lay the groundwork for the predicted additional 105,000 people, 63,000 jobs and 61,000 new houses that will be in the county by the year 2040.
In order to do this it will address a number of pertinent topics that will shape the medium to long-term future of Cork County including settlements and place-making, housing, water services, energy, transport & mobility, heritage, tourism, biodiversity, climate change and the environment.
Introducing the consultation document Cork County Council said it aims to create a vision of Cork County in order to 'provide for the development of the county as an attractive, competitive and sustainable place to live, visit and do business. Where the quality of its economy, natural and built environment, culture and the strength and viability of its communities are to the highest standards'.
It had been intended to hold a number of information sessions at locations across the county over the coming weeks. However, these have now been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. It is understood that the date for submissions in relation to the plan, which had been set for Thursday, May 7, will also be reviewed.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of County Cork Cllr Ian Doyle, has urged people to go online to view the consultation document and make their written submissions in relation to it.
"We are hoping to engage as many of our citizens as possible, as early in the plan-making process as possible, so they feel they have been given every opportunity to influence the policies that shape their communities," said Mayor Doyle.
"The next plan will focus on revitalising our towns and villages, making them attractive and vibrant places to live and affording people the opportunity to live closer to where they work. It will show how best this can be achieved whilst safeguarding our environment and protecting the natural and cultural assets that make our county unique," he added.
The chief executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey, said he hoped the consultation document would engage people and get them thinking about what the authority can do to "improve their neighbourhood and maintain and enhance their quality of life."
"Our track record shows we can deliver growth and we want to continue to ensure that our plans achieve the greatest social, environmental and economic dividend they can for the entire county. With this in mind, I would encourage people to share their view with us," said Mr Lucey.