CORK County Council has been urged to engage with a landowner in Garrettstown beach who is willing to provide space for extra parking at the beach, which has been the scene of severe congestion during the busy summer months.
Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind) raised the matter at last week’s meeting of Bandon Kinsale Municipal District and said there is an opportunity to improve the parking there.
‘There is a landowner there who is willing to work with the Council in providing more parking spaces and I would hope the administration would look into it,’ said Cllr Coleman.
‘It will not only give extra parking to the area but will also ensure the free flow of traffic. We should grasp the opportunity to do it now and speak to him and try and come up with a solution.’
Cllr Coleman said that even during the winter Garrettstown is still a busy beach as many come there to windsurf or surf and he queried Fáilte Ireland’s plan to construct changing facilities at Garrylucas, as he pointed out that Garrettstown has a higher level of activity all year round.
‘Has the Council discussed this with Fáilte Ireland about putting the facilities in Garrettstown beach as it would get tenfold more use than it would get in Garrylucas?’
However, senior executive officer Mac Dara O h-Icí said that at the time of the application process, there was a requirement that the Council had to be the owner of the land in question and that is why Garrylucas was selected as the land in Garrettstown is not Council-owned.
Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) also added that it was vitally important that a plan of action – which is in the hands of the coastal management committee – be implemented for Garrylucas, which he said is of critical importance.
‘This should include some method of blocking the sand from coming from the beach out onto the public road and we need a beach plan for the whole area but nothing has been done so far,’ said Cllr Murphy.
Mr O h-Icí said that Department of Housing, Local Government and Environment has a funding scheme in place and that they were putting in for an application to develop a conservation management plan for the beach.
Meanwhile, Cllr Marie O’Sullivan (FG) pointed out that some very dangerous iron girders at the entrance to beach at Garrettstown are an ‘accident waiting to happen.’ She also suggested installing two disabled parking spaces next to the wheelchair accessible picnic tables and benches at Garrylucas so that people can park next to the tables. Council officials said they would look into both issues.