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Cork pitches for city-region status

Words: Roger Milne

Cork City Council has published its proposals for the creation of a new entity that would be responsible for the area currently administered by the city council and the urban areas outside that boundary.

This would be defined as the Cork Metropolitan Area.

This area should provide for a current population of 230,000 and have the capacity to grow to 500,000 over the period from 2040 to 2050.

Such a move would bring Cork City up among the larger local authorities in Ireland while retaining a re-configured Cork County Council as an equally substantial but rural local authority.

The Cork Urban Area as identified in the Census of Population would be the core of this area, which would also stretch to beyond the proposed North Ring Road and extend eastward to include Glanmire, Carrigtwohill and Little Island.

The decision to include or exclude Cobh and Carrigaline would require future examination, although it is not envisaged that Midleton would be within the extended boundary.

The city council has argued that creating such a city-based metropolitan sub-region would help government policy, which aims to see alternative development areas to greater Dublin on the east coast.

“As the second largest urban area in the state by some distance, Cork is the only location that can realistically perform this function,” said the council.

It has stressed that joint working with the county council would continue in respect of the Cork Area Strategic Plan and joint housing and retail strategies.