CADRA County Development Plan Review 2021 to 2023
Submission from CADRA
We feel this plan needs to provide for the development or restoration of local communities like Carraroe. Our community has been divided by the new motorway and as result has lost its unique character of a Village. It is suffering as result of such planning and development. If you look at the position that exists, we have roads running through what was once a Village with large commercial Signage instead of Finger Signage Large Industrial Lights on old wooden poles.
A junction with five access points and poor sights lines (suspect not in accordance with national guidance) which is causing a serious problem of children crossing very busy roads and junctions. The traffic has to enter a cul-de-sac to drop children at the national school and exit again on to this major road junction. This situation is unsatisfactory and dangerous. An accident waiting to happen yet this situation was created when the motorway was developed.
What is now required by our community is the restoration of Village Community Concept to the area with appropriate signage, lighting re-alignment of roads to remove the need for all traffic to move through this small area. Village life restored by appropriate planning of residential supported housing to allow our elderly continue to live in our community instead of having to move into distant nursing homes away for where they lived all their lives and where they had social contact and family. There exists plenty of green fields around what was once the Village which can be developed with housing to cluster it more as well as a nice park to relax and feel safe. The park in front of the school is a waste of space as it cannot be used with traffic noise and lack of any privacy. It is, in fact, a carpark in all but name.
We have previously requested, and were promised, a Local Area Plan but to date that is not available. We have advocated for Sligo Town Bus Service to be returned to the area and have suggested it continue from Greenfort estate up Cairns Hill down to Holywell back into Carraroe Church and into Sligo Town. This would allow a large number of our population of approximately 5000 to avail of public transport and reduce carbon emissions and traffic (cars) in Sligo Town. It would also, if the elderly supported housing project was developed at the Church area, allow our senior citizens to continue to live in the area and be supported. The bus service would allow them reach their GP, Pharmacy, Hospital, Shops and Social Activities etc. There is already a sewerage piping serviced area adjacent to the centre which we have identified for such a development.
The issue of accessing our Community Sports facility is a major issue in the Community as there is no footpath from the School Junction to our sports facility at Cuilbeg. This results in school children having to be bussed to the facility as the school is in a land locked site and sports facilities are not sufficient. The roads around our community do not have footpaths and therefore walking on our roads is dangerous. This is the reason we advocate the idea of re-alignment of roads and traffic to allow the concept of Village life to be restored as opposed to us as a community to be driven through. Create a circle around an area where more people can be encouraged to live especially our elderly population and keep cars and lorries out of such a designated area.
We are fortunate to have nice facilities at Lough Gill, Dooney Rock, Slish Wood, Cairns Hill and Holywell within our catchment area but the idea of re-opening a major quarry on the shores of Lough Gill with blasting of rock down a further 30 metres and pumping water into lough Gill stream is considered unacceptable by our community. This area is a Special Area of Conservation and how anyone could contemplate giving planning for such is unbelievable. This will bring approx. 160 HGVs onto our community roads each day with serious consequences for our people. The lake supplies Sligo Town with water also which is another serious consideration.
Commercial activity is currently planned and provided on the old N4 which should be confined to that area but if proper planning and development occurred then that area should be serviced from a transport perspective by a direct link from the motorway nearer to Ballindrehid Bridge area which would have impact of removing large service vehicles form the centre of our Village community. Perhaps this should be revisited in the planning of the future.
The provision of a connected sewerage system is required in Carraroe to allow it be linked to Sligo Town System. This is in the interest of our environment and in alignment with Strategic Sustainable Goals to which Ireland and Sligo County have committed. The necessary sewerage pipes are already extending from Cornageeha to Carraroe opposite the Church which could be activated and all the area connected up to such a system. This would as already indicated assist with our objective of having a supported housing complex provided in the area.
As already highlighted, we in Carraroe do not have footpaths or cycle lanes around what was once our Village and as indicated our desire is to have a footpaths Village concept restored. This requires footpaths on all the roads adjacent to the Village centre. Cars speeding in excess of the existing limits, which in our opinion are way too high for a built-up community, is a serious problem and requires serious calming measures including Garda activity to end such a danger.
It is also common practice to have people driving into the area, especially at night, and, in doing so, spin wheels on the roads. One has only to travel on the roads and see the tyre marks to identify the locations where this dangerous activity is taking place. Perhaps if a controlled centre for such activity was established it may have the effect of providing a safer place and lessen the impacts while removing such activity off our roads with obvious danger for other motorists.
This is a serious issue in the area and the reasons for same are not as yet properly understood. However, it is said that there were places well recognised by the previous generation where flood plains occurred and why planning was allowed on such is difficult to understand. It is a problem that occurs when heavy rain occurs and while there are gullies on roads which perhaps are insufficient and not cleaned out often enough. The issue of blasting at the Aughamore Quarry and its impact on water tables etc. is being speculated as a possible cause of same but we as a small community group do not have the expertise in this area. However, Sligo County Council should have such expertise available to examine this aspect.
This is a very important facility in assisting communities provide safe place to live and work and should be developed. We are aware there is a Garda camera on the junction as one exists from town off the Motorway but it does not cover the full roundabout area. Perhaps it could be extended to a more strategic location. We did examine the idea previously and were able to obtain support from property owners in the area, Parish Priest etc. to have cameras around the centre of the Village but our resources did not allow such be developed. Perhaps a Sligo County Council /Garda initiative should be developed to provide such security to our community as well as other communities in the County.