Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Cork City Council approve development of Science Park...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cork City Council approve development of Science Park...

First of all, a little background to this story.

Back in August 2011, I had a post about how there was a proposal to develop the UCC Farm and turn it into a Science Park. The Farm is a popular spot for many runners as it's soft grass surface makes for an attractive surface to train on in comparison to the busy roads and hard footpaths of the city.

In January of 2012, I had a post about how UCC proposed to develop a centre of excellence for sport at an adjacent site.

Well, last Monday things moved on a bit further when Cork County Council agreed to a Section 85 agreement which allows the Cork County Council to build infrastructure inside the city limits where necessary. This now clears the way for the development of the Cork Science and Innovation Park (CSIP) at the western edge of the city boundary in Curraheen.

The plan includes provisions for the construction of access roads in the predominantly greenfield site, located between Bishopstown and Ballincollig. Infrastructure includes a 2km access road, with two bridges, to provide transport to five development centres.It is hoped that the major development  could create upwards of 17,000 jobs and mark Cork out as a potential Silicon Valley of Ireland.

Usual running route on the Farm shown in orange

Phase One of the project, according to County Council documents, will create 1,320 employees and researchers, while Phase Two and Three will generate 4,500 and 11,354 respectively. The spin-off jobs in retail and other ancillary employment positions lead to the 17,000 figure. These figures are separate from the initial construction phase.

It's not clear as to how or when this would impact on the part of the Farm that people use for training but the CSIP Interim Director said...."We have approval for a road to access the site a number of weeks ago so we expect to commence on that project soon. We are preparing an implementation plan for the site now and expect the first building to go up by late 2014. We are also in the process of drawing up a communication strategy for stakeholders and residents which will be released shortly."


Anonymous said...

I think its time Cork Runners banded together to form some sort of organisation to represent them and buy a facility which meets our needs. The Cork AAI board are living in the 1970's or 1980's and they have spent 350,000 Euro on a farm which is under silage during the summer and is in darkness most winter evenings when it would be useful for runners to be able to use it. UCC have destroyed the lovely Mardyke track with an extension of the gym out to the edge of the track and will no doubt make a poor job of repairing the current track since they still haven't made a start on it. CIT track is patrolled by caretakers in a way that would restrict any casual use by someone just looking to do some training by them self. The farm has always been great for runners to just show up and do an easy run or session whenever you want, despite the challenges of weather of late. Running and athletics needs a proper home. Would runners and clubs support fundraising events over a few years to develop a facility like the farm which also incorporates a synthetic track and maybe a grass track ...and maybe some changing rooms. Maybe there is a golf course gone bust somewhere which could be used? And please don't mention that place formerly known as the dump as a replacement!

Anonymous said...

This is so disappointing. There is a gradual erosion of green areas in the city with nothing in place to replace them. This is one of the few decent places to go for a run on a soft surface, particularly if you have an injury. Its an ideal place to run as the pedestrian and dog traffic is very low with no cyclists!

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm aware Ucc have, along with the Cork summer show, bought Land between them- This is currently where the Cork Summer show was this year-{It was cancelled due to bad weather this year tho.} Anyway, Ucc intend to move there playing pitches over there- So in my opinion this is still good news- Problem sorted-

John Desmond said...

Details of the new UCC sports grounds can be seen in the second link in the post (Jan 2012).

As the last anonymous comment said, it's adjacent to the Farm.

Anonymous said...

A huge shame. For those that say the UCC/Summer Show can be used: I say go over and have a look at it - it will need a lot of work before it can be run or played on.

And after this work is done (and paid for) what are the chances that runners will be allowed to just swan in and use it?

Agreed on the lack of green spaces - best alternative I know is the regional Park in Ballincollig but you can't do speedwork there, surface on the fields is poor and the walkways aren't practical with the number of walkers.

Perhaps a list of off-road places near the city suitable for running could be complied?

Also will the AAI Board be seeking assurances that the new farm will be open for runners?

Dave O Regan said...

Are these actually new jobs or are they just moving jobs from elsewhere and leaving even more buildings and business parks empty? I just don't see the need for more office space.

John Quigley said...

This has been on the horizon for quite some time now, however I don't think many people appreciate the scale of the project...or the amount of amenity land that is being redeveloped.

What appears to be going is:
The Farm
All the newly developed pitches at CIT
Farmland in between the two sports areas.

In all, some 20 pitches are being scrapped...and these are all in a green belt area!!

I strongly object to the whittling away of amenity areas, and the green belt, in and around Cork.

Besides running, there is regular and diverse activity on these pitches, including GAA, soccer, rugby, archery, baseball, cricket and frisbee events...along with running.

The final draft development plan for the park can be seen here: ....beware! It's 32Mb!!

No doubt the developers will suggest "De Dump" as an alternative.....we've seen the recent proposals to develop "De Dump". Cork AAI Co. Board has already looked at, and rejected, "De Dump" as a possible Cross-Country venue, from the view of practicality and safety. Enough said!