A MAJOR facelift for the town of Bandon, including plans for a major events area to hold concerts and an outdoor market, were put on public display last week.
The revamp of Ballymoden Place to cater for public gatherings will be part of an overall scheme that will also see the town enhanced with street furniture and tree planting.
The news comes days after The Southern Star exclusively revealed that Clonakilty might become home to a major ‘English Market’ style food emporium.
There are several ambitious proposals set out in Cork County Council’s multi-million euro Bandon Transportation and Public Realm Enhancement Plan (Bandon T-PREP).
In the documents, which were put on display in Bandon Town Hall this week, Bandon was described as being ‘a tired looking town’. It is stated that this plan now aims to ‘strengthen Bandon’s position as a premier market town through the creation of a unique sense of place and enhance its role as the gateway to West Cork’.
It is also envisaged to ease the traffic problems in the town by discouraging HGVs from entering the town.
This, it envisages, will be achieved by the long-term plan of constructing a Northern Relief Road for the town. There are also plans to introduce a 30kph speed limit in the town centre, a ‘boulevard’ on Glasslyn Road, improvements to junctions, while also improving pedestrian and cycle access. ‘Improving the public realm within the town’ will also be one of the aims of the plan, which will involve upgrading footpaths, installing street furniture and making it a more attractive environment for all.
This week’s display was the second public consultation and it followed on from suggestions made by the public after the first. Following the first consultation last year, the main areas of concern expressed by the public included traffic congestion, the large volume of HGVs passing through the town, poor parking practices, lack of pedestrian facilities, bad road surfaces and poor street lighting.
Bandon-based Cllr Rachel McCarthy has welcomed the plans, which she said will give a positive boost to the town, but she was cautious about the timeline involved.
‘This is what the people would like the town to look like, but we will still have to deal with the reality of the main drainage scheme and nothing can be done until this is completed and there have already been delays in delivering this,’ said Cllr McCarthy.
‘This is positive news for Bandon, but we need to put pressure on Irish Water to deliver the drainage scheme, as €7m has already been ring-fenced for that. There will be upheaval for the people of the town when work does begin, but it needs to happen.’
The public can now make submissions once again, up until June 21st, by logging onto www.corkcoco.ie and completing the questionnaire electronically.