Given that this Tuesdays meeting was the first back after the Christmas break it was a relatively quiet affair. We had a preliminary discussion on the retail promotion and it is definitely a topic that we will return to so we would welcome feedback and comment from all members, not just the retailers involved.
The BBA are delighted to be involved with the Beacon Initiative and a public meeting is to be held by the organisers next Wednesday at 7 PM in the Oriel. Interest in this scheme has been good and the feedback from those involved in other towns has been extremely positive.
Jim O’Leary asked that we pass on Michael O ’Flynn’s gratitude to the members who attended the presentation before Christmas as he was delighted with the response. In return the BBA would like to express our gratitude to Michael for his hospitality and considered presentation.
Emer Cassidy has arranged the first meeting for the organising committee for the St Patricks Day Parade on Monday 27th January in the Oriel at 8 PM. Of vital importance this year is the number of stewards on the day. Last year we had the bare minimum and the parade itself will only be viable if we can arrange for more volunteers. Therefore we are asking members to make a particular effort over the coming months to cajole as many family members and friends as possible to help on the day.
In continuing with our programme of moving our meetings to different members’ premises and we were delighted to take up the invitation of McCutcheon Halley Walsh to host the meeting at 8 AM in their splendid offices in Joyce House, Barrack Square.
Brian McCutcheon provided an introduction to the company and outlined their long association with Ballincollig while Harry Walsh gave a presentation on the Draft County Development Plan and outline the process involved in making a development plan, what the Plan envisages for Ballincollig, what issues the BBA may look to have addressed in the context of the Plan and how best the BBA can influence the Plan and achieve their objectives.
It was a very informative meeting in the boardroom of McCutcheon Halley Walsh. It was great to hear the viewpoints of our local planning experts particularly in relation to the Draft County Development Plan. Following on from that meeting some representatives of the BBA held a meeting with Andrew Hind, the Head of Planning Policy for Cork County Council
At the meeting Mark O’Keefe gave an outline of a meeting that was held recently between a delegation from the BBA, consisting of Mark, Micheál O’Crualaoi and Harry Walsh. They met with Andrew Hind, the Head of Planning and the feeling was that it was a productive meeting. Of particular interest from a business point of view are issues such as future building and office space as well as traffic and access. It would appear that it is vital that Ballincollig, as a town, through the representative body which is the BA, make a case to move up the list of priorities for funding for projects such as the infrastructure for water and other services in the lands that are earmarked for future development.
Another issue that the BBA will have to look at is commencing consultations with the NRA and the National Transport Agency to ensure that any proposed developments future proof the transport infrastructure, both for local access and regional traffic management. In addition to issues that currently arise at peak times consideration must be given to the traffic that will be generated on the opening of Tesco and the necessity of the BBA to engage with the relevant stakeholders before the store opens.
The meeting was also attended by Garret Kelleher, who is running for Fine Gael in the local elections next May. Garret is originally from Ovens and is keen to help the BBA in any ways that he can and in this regard he is also helping out with the organising committee for the St Patricks Day Parade.