Holly Cairns, TD is running a series of webinars to understand people’s concerns and help individuals and communities make submissions to the final draft of the new County Development Plan 2022-2028, which is open for public consultation until July 1.
When I was on Cork County Council, there was a proposal to amend the County Development Plan to allow for the building of a ‘Kildare Village style’ retail outlet centre in East Cork.
I was one of only a few Councillors who opposed the proposal. Why? Because it directly contradicted a range of objectives in the Development Plan and national policies.
The retail centre would take business from local towns, a further blow to small family-run businesses, and create thousands of new car journeys when we need to decrease them. Subsequently, the Office of the Planning Regulator and the Minister of State for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke, refused permission, but it is going to judicial review.
At the centre of this issue was the County Development Plan and its role in shaping the type of society and economy we want. The Plan, developed every six years, lays out the priorities for the Council and the framework for all building and infrastructure. It is a substantial document which Councillors and Council staff work on for months. It is important then that the plan is as rigorous as possible and is adhered to.
The final draft of the new County Development Plan 2022-2028 is open for public consultation until July 1. This plan will decide how your area will develop over the next few years. I encourage everyone to make a submission. We need to get this plan right. We need to ensure it has objectives that reflect community priorities. As we recover from the pandemic, this plan will be crucial in creating sustainable employment and securing the future of our towns and villages.
Making submissions can seem confusing and daunting, but at its heart, it is about sharing your perspective on issues that affect you. To help individuals and communities make submissions, I am running a series of webinars to understand people’s concerns and also advise on the best way to make a submission.
I have already run workshops with Primary and Secondary School students from across the constituency. On Wednesday, June 9 at 7pm I am holding a webinar for the general public.
I also have surveys available or you can email me your thoughts and I will add to them the submission that I am writing along with Councillor Ross O’Connell. All details are available on hollycairns.ie.
Here are some key points to note:
You have until midnight on Thursday, July 1, 2021 to make a submission.
The proposed plan is available and open for submissions on the County Council website (Some of these documents are very large file sizes and might be difficult to download. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like us to email you smaller versions. We can also post printed copies.)
The plan comes in several volumes with overall objectives (Vol. 1) for different policy areas, such as housing, transport, climate action, and geographical areas, with a West Cork specific Volume (Vol.5)
Children and young people: I have simple surveys for young people to fill out which I will add to our submission. Go to hollycairns.ie or my social media for all details.