POPULATION BOOM PREDICTED IN FERMOY
The population of Fermoy is set to grow by up to a half in the next ten years according to a report that was officially released at the first open meeting of the Fermoy Post Bypass Forum this week.
The report by Goodbody Economic Consultants, which was commissioned by the forum group and financed by its participating parties, indicates that the town will grow from the last published census figure of approximately 19,800 to 29,000 plus over the next decade.
In answer to queries by the forum members concerning the consultants’ experiences in various towns in Ireland and abroad, Bernard Feeney, of Goodbody Economic Consultants made the following observations, “It is clear that the opening of the bypass did represent a most significant opportunity for the Fermoy area, an opportunity that needed to be pro-actively seized and not let pass by, towns and their hinterland areas generally needed to achieve a critical mass size in order to attract further development and public/private investment.
"The nature and style and chosen services of the newer public and private developments will, to a great extent, shape the future of the town and the area”
He added, “To avail of the opportunity now presenting and to ensure Fermoy’s attractiveness as a place to live, to shop and to invest, it is essential that a major architectural upgrading project of the streetscapes and squares be embarked upon as soon as possible, a new inner urban bridge may well be required to achieve the ambience, which is paramount."
“A new structure needs to be put in place to facilitate co-operation across organisational boundaries, towns and areas pay a very high price for ‘ploughing a lone furrow’ or disharmony - to seize the present opportunity requires all local agencies and organisations to actively work together closely.”
The chairman of the Fermoy Post Bypass Forum, Rochie Holohan, confirmed that the group had reviewed best practice in a number of other towns. Based on these and discussions with the consultants, he proposed a structure incorporating five specific strands to include an executive task force and groups from the business, education, community and sport and leisure areas.
It is proposed that the Fermoy Post Bypass Forum will host a conference every six months to which all local elected politicians and representatives from the five participating groups will be invited.
The stated purpose of these conferences is to encourage communication, co-ordination, integration, review progress and initiate joint actions while not undertaking the work of or competing with any existing agency or group.
Mr. Holohan, chairman of the forum and also top dog at North Cork Enterprise Board, this week told The Avondhu, “It is accepted internationally that towns characterised by disharmony do not thrive. The new forum represents a great opportunity to harness the general goodwill and enthusiasm that exists in Fermoy. The population explosion predicted in the Goodbody report presents a great challenge and also a wonderful opportunity.”
The next meeting of the Fermoy Post Bypass Forum has been fixed for Monday, February 2, 2009.
Thursday 4th September 6:48pm