MITCHELSTOWN DOMINATES CORK HISTORICAL PROTECTION LIST
It was revealed this week that a list of suggested sites of historical significance covering the entirety of County Cork is overwhelmingly dominated with entries from Mitchelstown.
Of the 60 proposed additions to the record of protected structures for the entire county of Cork as part of the latest review of the County Development Plan, 45 are structures and land within the Mitchelstown area.
The list, submitted by local historian Bill Power, has stirred some controversy however, as it has been revealed that the majority of owners of the suggested properties have not been consulted on the proposal.
Furthermore the suggestions made to Cork County Council have even caught one county councillor, who has land on the list of suggestions, off guard. “I knew nothing about it until I was told by council officials,” local Fianna Fail Councillor Kevin O’Keeffe told The Avondhu, “I wasn’t consulted at all on the matter.”
Cllr O’Keeffe added that the move has resulted in a deluge of phone calls from angry Mitchelstown property owners. “People tell me that they are shocked that they are listed,”
Cllr O’Keeffe said, “and are blaming the council for being heavy handed on the matter. What I would like to make clear is that this is not a list of suggestions made by Cork County Council, this is a submission made by an individual member of the public to the council for consideration.” Up to the time of going to press, Mr. Power was unavailable for comment.
Once a site or property is afforded such historical status, a number of restrictions are put in place which may hinder any construction on protected land or adjustments to existing properties.
The proposed additions to the record of protected structures are included in the latest review of the County Development Plan, a review described by local Councillor Liam O’Doherty as “one of the most important reports put to the council this year.”
“This County Development Plan sees submissions from many people in Cork and Mitchelstown,” Cllr O’Doherty explained, “the large majority of submissions are suggestions from people within retail and industry on how best to develop the town and county further. The list of historical sites is just a part of the overall scheme.”
Cllr O’Doherty conceded that some of the suggestions could prove problematic for the council if ratified. “I have no problem protecting important historical structures but safety must come first. For example, it is suggested that the bridge coming out of Mitchelstown on the Ballyporeen road should be protected. If that goes through then it would be difficult to make adjustments to the bridge should the council wish to improve the roadway.”
Also included for consideration under the review is a map outlining an area within the centre of Mitchelstown that the submitter argues should be given special historical status.
Members of the public who own property on the list of proposed sites of historical significance will be formally informed by Cork County Council in the coming months and given the opportunity to make their own submissions or objections by Friday, September 26 before the council votes on the issue.
Thursday 24th July 6:37pm