Positive projections for Charleville in Cork County Draft Development Plan By Matt O’Callaghan

“To my mind it is a very progressive and positive plan for Charleville. Some may say it is aspirational but its projected population growth and how it is going to be achieved is fantastic for Charleville”, enthused local Fianna Fáil Councillor Ian Doyle this week as he reflected on the recently published Cork County Council Draft Development Plan 2022-2028.
The Plan projects an increase in the population of Charleville from 3,919 at the 2016 census to 6,563 by 2028, an increase of up to 60%.
Cllr Doyle is exhorting individuals and business organisations like the Chamber of Commerce and other groups in the town to go and inspect the plan which is now available to view and is open to submissions from the public up to 1st July 2021.
“It is probably one of the strongest development plans of all our county towns. The last Plan had only projected a population growth of 247 for the whole town of Charleville, now it is 6,563,” Cllr Doyle explained.
“A lot of that is due to our geographical location where we are in the heart on Munster. A lot will depend on our infrastructures and whether the M20 goes ahead or not. There is a three way option for the M20 but any way it is beneficial to Charleville.
The Plan envisages that to meet the projected population surge, 1,134 housing units will be required which should not be a major obstacle as Cllr Doyle revealed. “What is very encouraging is that there is a land bank including Council land zoned in the area both from the old County Development Plan and now under the National Planning Framework. Enough land is zoned to accommodate that growth. The field on the N20 at the northern end of the town is Council property, hopefully that will be developed into social and affordable housing. All the other lands that are zoned mainly towards the north west of the town are zoned for planning and a lot of that planning is in situ at the moment. Planning applications have also gone in for the development of lands that have been laying idle since the last Development Plan.”
Under the National Planning Framework it is planned to look at the town centre for the availability of lands and its development for living accommodation. In Smith’s Lane, the possibility there for in town living is huge and that is encouraged in the plan,” the Fianna Fail Councillor said.
There is emphasis in the Plan on retail and the town centre and keeping the Main Street for concentrating on the core business. “One thing we have here in Charleville is a natural hinterland of retail trade, all you have to do on Friday and Saturday is sit back and look at the crowd. Charleville is an attractive centre and what we have to do is make that more attractive. We have all the multiples here, we have the two pillar Banks, we have two Credit Unions and a Post Office still operating in the town. It is testimony to Charleville that the one and only branch of the Bank of Ireland that is being retained is in the town” Cllr Doyle said.
The Draft County Development Plan is very positive on the future of education in Charleville. Presently there is the E.T.B. located in the former Mannix College, there are vibrant girls’ and boys’ primary and secondary schools.
The Plan also contains projections of interest for the local villages around Charleville and Cllr Doyle is calling on the public and organisations to go and inspect the Plan which will come into force for 2022.
The plan can be inspected in the following ways:
At the Planning Department, Floor 1 County Hall Cork by appointment only due to Covid restrictions or via www.yourcouncil.ie/My/Services or at Cork County Council, Divisional Office, Annabella, Mallow by prior appointment only due to Covid restrictions or telephone 022-21123 or online at wwwcorkcoco.ie/en/cork-county-development-plan-2022-2028