Monday 17 June 2019

Several key local projects included on county council's ambitious €723 million 'wish list'

Bill Browne

Cork County Council has published a comprehensive 'wish list' detailing how the authority intends to finance key infrastructural projects across the county up to the end of 2020.

The Council has identified "anticipated projects" across a number of areas including housing, roads, recreation & amenity, environment and flood prevention with an estimated total spend of €732 million, that it hopes to progress over a three-year period. 

The authority's Capital Programme (2018-2020) included number of projects across north and mid-Cork that the authority is aiming to prioritise under the its auspices. 

Outlining the programme, the Council's head of finance Lorraine Lynch, said it was necessary to point out there were "finite resources", with the progression of some of its projects dependent on funding that had to be approved and provided for. 

"There are many projects that are worthy in their own right. However, we have to work within the framework of financial availability and those project that will yield a reasonable momentum for the county. Thus, this current programme may not include some projects we would ideally like to," said Ms Lynch. 

"However, the programme is a running one. It does not represent the capital budget for the three-years and, by its nature, therefore subject to change as it is reviewed annually." 

The provision of housing was one of the key areas addressed within the programme, with the Council earmarking €326 million to the sector, the vast bulk of which (€269 million) will be for social housing. Specific housing projects of local interest include 57 units at Poulavone in Ballincollig and the 'turnkey' housing projects in Kanturk and Ballviniter, Mallow. 

The Council has earmarked  a total €214 million to roads, including works on nationals routes including the N22 Macroom-Ballyvourney bypass and the Annakisha South improvement and Clogher Cross - Waterdyke realignment schemes on the N72.

It also incorporates projects on regional/local roads including the Kanturk relief road, with €3 million set aside for footpaths and €2.5 million for the supply and improvement of car-parks across the council's eight districts. 

A sum of €53.5 million has been allocated to various flood relief, coastal protection and other related works, with the authority also aiming to invest €2.7 million for the provision and extension of burial grounds, including land acquisitions. 

The almost €6 million allocated to fire services make provision for fire stations in Mitchelstown, Macroom and Kanturk, with the authority also hoping to progress the refurbishment of the Briery Gap Cultural Centre and invest to help realise the tourism potential for Mallow Castle.  

Other monies allocated include €28 million for recreation and amenities, €12.1m for public realm works, €7.7m for libraries and €6.6 million for traffic & transportation measures such as "sustainable" measures to reduce dependence on private cars.

Further specific issues that will be addressed over the lifetime of the Capital Programme will include town CCTV projects, works at council owned leisure centres, amenity walkways and the development of board-walks, which its is hoped will also include the proposed one at Mallow Bridge.