PLANS to close one entrance of a car park in Kinsale for 12 months while work begins on a new library were met with disquiet by councillors especially when told that any plans to change it could cost in the region of €45,000.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) raised the issue at a meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and said that they weren’t informed of the closure of one entrance to the car park near the Old Mill Building which will be transformed into a state-of-the-art three-storey library.
‘I find it offensive that we haven’t been told and it will totally disrupt the free flow of traffic. I want to find out details about why we weren’t told,’ said Cllr Murphy.
Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG) agreed with her colleague and pointed out that a lot of elderly residents access the town centre through this car park.
‘Having only one access in the car park would be a nightmare,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
Council official Mac Dara Ó h-Icí said he would ask the architects department about it but pointed out to councillors that to delay the construction at this stage would mean extra costs.
‘The tender probably had a compound in the plan and any change to that would be extra,’ said Mr Ó h-Icí.
He said the builders are ready to start work on the project in the next few weeks.
Executive engineer Brendan Fehily said he was told by Council architect Billy Smyth that one entrance to the car park would be closed for 12 months on health and safety grounds.
‘I told him we shouldn’t be closing access but he said it went out to tender on the basis of that and that it would cost an extra €45,000 if this wasn’t done,’ said Mr Fehily.
Mr Fehily said it’s ‘health and safety gone mad’ and said that no one is stopping the job but that no one wants part of the car park closed for a year.
Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) said that 12 months is a long time to be closing an entrance to a car park, while Cllr Murphy said it was ‘absolutely ridiculous’ that not closing the entrance would cost €45,000.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) said that Cork County Council will have to ‘bite the bullet and adjust the scheme.’
Senior executive engineer Charlie McCarthy agreed that they do need clarity and would meet with the architects in the next week.