Charleville Chamber has made a submission for consideration and possible inclusion in the forthcoming plan for the Fermoy Municipal District Local Area Plan. The Charleville submission includes a five year strategy plan covering the pillar industries in the area and five major projects which are deemed vital for the future development of the town. These are a retail strategy, broadband upgrading, creating a sustainable low carbon economy, developing the N20 Charleville relief road and to establish Charleville as a vibrant tourist centre. All of these proposals are inter-connected and one cannot be achieved without the other.

In order to future proof the retail industry and assist in making the town more prosperous a retail strategy needs to be developed. This would include developing a town website, improving the streetscape, upgrading broadband in the area and addressing the empty buildings on Main Street. Upgrading the broadband to fibre optic will allow Charleville to flourish in this new era of ICT and IT technology in which we are now living and the advent if high speed fibre optic broadband is crucial for the future of the business community in the town and is critical in attracting new industry and business to Charleville.

Likewise the traffic management in the town will have to be seriously addressed as the present situation cannot be allowed to continue. The constant heavy traffic is a serious threat to health and safety to every one using the Main Street. The large volumes of traffic taking its toll of the carriageway resulting in a crumbling surface leading to piecemeal patching by Cork County Council workers, which in turn increases the wear and tear to the 10,000 vehicles using the road daily. The RSA imposes responsibility on the haulage sector to have their vehicles roadworthy and safe, while the RSA does little to impose responsibility on the TII to provide a safe and fit for purpose road network. The suggestion of a relief road would take all the heavy gods vehicles off the Main Street leading to safer shopping environment for customers, some of whom are presently reluctant to come to Charleville for their shopping.

The footpaths also need upgrading and there is a marked improvement where this has been achieved at the southern end of the town but these improvements need to be extended to cover all the Main Street on both sides. Particularly bad is the area adjacent to the Convent of Mercy building where the kerbing is sloping outward towards the road and is a danger to those using the pathway especially the elderly and children.

Included in the submission is a proposal to develop and improve tourist amenities in Charleville to attract and keep holiday makers in the town and area. A discussion to develop the Moatville House and grounds in conjunction with Cork County Council under the REDZ initiative is presently in train between the Kerry Group and Charleville Chamber through the Charleville Heritage Society and the omens are that this may have a positive outcome for the town and those pursuing the venture. The foregoing is but a flavour of what is in the submission for inclusion in the Fermoy Municipal District Area Plan and final draft of which is awaited with interest.

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