independent

Friday 22 February 2019

Strategic plan sets out blueprint for Rathcormac's future growth

Plan sets out a bright new vision for the future of the village and its hinterland

Back row: Cllr Frank O’Flynn, Minister David Stanton, Pa O’Driscoll.
Front row: Margaret Howard, chair Rathcormac Community Council; Dierdre Clune MEP; Bob Seward, vice-chair RCC and Valerie Murphy, CEO Avondhu Blackwater Partnership
Back row: Cllr Frank O’Flynn, Minister David Stanton, Pa O’Driscoll. Front row: Margaret Howard, chair Rathcormac Community Council; Dierdre Clune MEP; Bob Seward, vice-chair RCC and Valerie Murphy, CEO Avondhu Blackwater Partnership
Back row: Minister David Stanton; Pa O’Driscoll; Conor Gurrin, Rathcormac Community Council; Frank Buckley, RCC; Tom Kearney, RCC; Richie O’Regan, RCC and Dr. Karen Ray University College Cork. Front row: Gary Clerkin RCC, Bob Seward RCC, Margaret Howard RCC, Deirdre Clune MEP, Brendan O’Sullivan UCC, Jeannette Fitzsimons UCC and Elma Twomey, RCC

Bill Browne

An ambitious new strategic plan for Rathcormac village and its hinterland will, according to its authors,  help realise the immense potential the area has and meet the needs of its growing population over the coming years.

Two-years in the making, the plan was recently unveiled in front of a large attendance at the Boole Library in University College Cork by Deirdre Clune MEP.

Drawn up Rathcormac Community Council in conjunction with UCC's Planning and Research Unit, the plan used input from local business interests, community groups and sporting bodies to draw up a working blueprint for the future development and expansion of the north Cork village. 

Community Council honorary secretary Conor Guerrin said that while Rathcormac was all too often viewed as simply being just a village it is, in fact, "much more than that". 

"We looked at the old and new village, the civil parish, the western environs and the greater Rathcormac area and discovered that we need to think big to ensure we provide the facilities that meet the needs of the population," said Conor.

 It may come as a surprise to many, including some who have lived in the Rathcormac area for many years, that the population of the greater area in 2016 stood at 5,264. This includes its rural hinterland and the electoral divisions of Gortroe, Castleyons and Kilcor. 

To put this figure into some sort of perspective it is equivalent to that of Kinsale Town (5,281) and Clonakilty (4,592) and significantly higher than the nearby town of Mitchelstown (3,740), all of which are well-served in terms of employment, infrastructure and transport. 

Community Council chair Margaret Howard said that Rathcormac needed a high quality village, and to ensure the true scale of the area was considered in all future discussions with Cork County Council, government departments and state agencies. 

"It should form the basis of demographic projections to ensure the correct scale of housing, employment and community needs are adequately met," said Mrs Howard. 

The plan also found it was important to form a loose alliance with all of the community councils, groups, churches, schools, businesses and sporting organisations so that all of their individual strategic plans and programmes were aligned to a similar way of thinking. 

"This will ensure there is a more integrated and consistent approach to planning and development," said Mrs Howard.

It was also recognised that civic amenities would play a key role in the future growth of the village through a network of walking paths across the wider area and the continued development of the 10-acre Rathcormac Community Park, the first phase of which is almost complete at a cost of almost €500,000. 

"We want to see Rathcormac branded as a quality place for contemporary countryside living and working with excellent connections to Metropolitan Cork," said Mrs Howard. 

She said the support received from the UCC Planning ad Research Unit, Cork County Council, the Avondhu Blackwater Partnership, the Tomar Trust and various state agencies had "given our community council a lift." 

"It has energised our voluntary members to work even harder to deliver projects aligned to our strategic objectives. We want to ensure everyone can enjoy living and working in Rathcormac and the benefits the village and surrounding countryside has to offer," said Mrs Howard. 

Recommendations arising from plan will be able to view over the coming days by following the link at www.rathcormacvillage.com. 

The full text of the plan will be available to view early in the New Year through the same website.

Corkman

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