February 5, 2015 eoin

Glounthaune Tidy Towns Planning Letter Jan 2015 14/6679

hedgerow

RE: PLANNING SUBMISSION 14/6679 !
Sir,
We wish to make the following observations re the proposed development by O’Mahony
Developments at Johnstown, Killahora, Glounthaune.

1. The existing traditional stone wall (along the southern boundary of the proposed
development adjoining the roadway between Glounthaune and Carrigtohill) is of
significant interest and merit and should not be obscured, modified or removed
by the proposed works. It features a relatively unique ‘double’ wall, pictured
below, the top section being set back somewhat in a very individualistic and eyecatching
way. We regard this as part of the heritage of Glounthaune This is much
appreciated locally and has been the subject of many positive comments by locals,
passersby and visitors.
The existing wall and hedgerow provides an important linking habitat and a relatively
safe passageway for local fauna moving between locations.
We are also concerned that the replacement of the existing natural dry stone wall and
associated hedgerow on the eastern boundary will be replaced by a constructed wall,
again weakening the ecological corridor.
We also note that Cork County Development Plan 2014 opposes situations where
“excessive length of roadside hedgerow and trees to be removed”, we are of the
opinion that this situation applies here.
We would require any hedgerow being removed or degraded to be replaced in an
identified, defined manner clearly set out in the development proposal which would
also be amenable to external monitoring.

hedgerow

hedgerow

2. Glounthaune is located in the Metropolitan Cork Greenbelt and has a distinctive
village character often remarked on by visitors and passersby. Any housing developments
should reflect the village character and not detract from it. The current
proposed development and potential follow on phases, will conflict severely
with the village character on the basis of scale, layout and design. We note that
the Cork County Development Plan 2014 RC-I 5-8 states that it strives to “prevent
linear roadside frontage development on roads leading out of towns and villages”.
Thus we want the scale of the development to be reduced, setting back
the houses further from the roadway, thus allowing space for appropriate landscaping
inside the southern boundary, screening the housing units from the secondary
road and preserving the natural frontage and visual aspect. The south
sloping site on which the proposed development is located is exposed to the road
and is in a visually sensitive location along the approach to the village from the
east.
In addition, the main entrance should be relocated to the minor road thus improving
the screening of the development and avoiding adding another traffic junction. The
minor road to the south of the relocated entrance should be widened as part of the
Planning Conditions.

3. We are concerned that the development will negatively impact on the nearby
Great Island SAC (1058) and the Cork Harbour SPA (4030). The Ecological
Survey Report Document No. 6102RP02 does not adequately address potential
disturbance by human activities, noise and illumination. We say that the zone of
impact of the proposed development will disturb the wintering birds. The Cork
County Development Plan 2014 requires that “developments will not affect the
bird population or distribution” of SACs or SPAs. We also note that the Cork
County Development Plan 2014 states that “the overall capacity of the Cork
Harbour SPA to absorb increased human activity has not been assessed”. We request
that this assessment be carried out prior to any Planning Decision to allow
a more scientific assessment of human impacts. We attach a copy of “Surveys of
waterbird numbers at Harper’s Island, Glounthaune, Co. Cork”, May 2014 Birdwatch
Ireland. This highlights the international importance and sensitivity of the
area directly across the road to the south of the development. A very significant
wildlife/educational amenity is being planned for Harper’s Island supported by
Glounthaune Community Association, Birdwatch Ireland and Cork Co. Council.
This would be accessed via the new railway bridge over the Midleton line.
We request that car parking spaces and one bus parking space be made available in
the proposed development, accessed via the minor road and behind the screening
landscaped area earlier mentioned in this submission. This would service the proposed
Harper’s Island facility.

4. The traffic count data presented as Turning Count Movements appeared somewhat
low to some local residents. the count was repeated on 21st Jan 2015 for the
same periods 0800-0900 and 1700-1800.
the results were as follows:

Due to the large order of magnitude discrepancies, we suggest that the traffic count
data be rechecked and repeated by the developer before any planning decision is
made. The recent opening of the Killahora Amber filling station (low cost motor
fuel), increased employment in Little Island (greater proportion using the Glounthaune
to Little Island access), and some morning traffic disruption at the N25 exits
are likely to have contributed to the large increase in usage of the secondary road adjacent
to the proposed development (especially the morning count).

GTT-planning-letter-Chart

Traffic Movements

5. We would like to point out that the Glounthaune Railway Station Car Park is always
full with the overflow parking along the roadside margin in an unsuitable location.
This unregulated parking beside a busy road compromises road safety. A typical
day (21st Jan 2015) is shown below:

carpark

carpark

Road Side

Road Side

We also do not agree that the proposed Park and Ride at the planned new Dunkettle
Railway Station will do anything to alleviate the Glounthaune Station parking. It is
accepted widely that train passengers arriving by car will choose the local most convenient
station and will not drive further than necessary to park.
Thus we submit that the development should not go ahead until the Glounthaune
Railway Station Car Park capacity is extended. !
6.We note that the proposed development does not include in the drawings the proposed
cycleway/walkway linking Carrigtwohill and Little Island Station. Sections of
this are already completed and the link between Killacloyne Bridge and Johnstown
Park are awaited. It would run on the road margin along the southern boundary of
the development. Full provision should be made for this in any development alongside
the roadway.
Please find enclosed the €20 fee.
Yours Sincerely,
Conor O’Brien
Chairman Glounthaune Tidy Towns

 

 

 

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