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Cork new town approved for take-off

Words: Roger Milne

An Bord Pleanála has given the go-ahead for a new town of up to 5,300 homes on the outskirts of Cork city near Blarney.

The state planning agency has approved the planning scheme drawn up by Cork County Council for Monard to be designated as a Strategic Development Zone covering an area of nearly 400 hectares.

This means the county council can move ahead with its plans to create a new town for more than 13,000 people over the next 10 to 15 years.

The new settlement would have up to 5,300 homes in four villages and include a number of schools, sports facilities and commercial units on a site along the Cork to Mallow railway line, between Killeens and Blarney on the north side of Cork.

A feature of the scheme would be a new €4 million commuter railway station.

The local authority was initially refused planning permission for the project earmarked for mainly farm land at Monard, between Blackpool and Blarney village, in 2012. However, it resubmitted revised plans which last November were the subject of a Bord Pleanála oral hearing.

Tim Lucey, chief executive of Cork County Council, said: “The council will now proceed to progress the detailed design of the infrastructure and funding models through engagement with all stakeholders who have a part to play in bringing this scheme to reality over the coming years."

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