Public Consultation to Develop Vision for Midleton Town Park and Baby Walk

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council are preparing to hold a public consultation to gather feedback on the future of the Midleton Towns Park and Baby walk.

Detailed designs are expected to be presented to Cllrs at their September Sitting and, if approved, the plans could go to public consultation by October.

The County’s 55 Cllrs may well be asked to make a decision on the Planning Application as early as January 2020.

In November 2017 the District revealed concept plans for the future of the public parks, which include the implementation of a Woodland Management Plan and better access to the Dungourney River.

The ambitious ideas include lawn terraces with low maintenance wildflower meadows and seating areas, along with the creation of a new bridge to facilitate looped walks between existing woodland and parkland.

East Cork Municipal District Officer, Joe McCarthy, revealed the news in a response to a Motion tabled by Fine Gael Cllr Susan McCarthy at Monday’s Sitting of the Borough.

The Midleton based Cllr had requested that the bridge at Baby’s walk be replaced, to facilitate access back into the Park at Midleton Lodge.

The access point into the 14 acre common was decommissioned several years ago when the timber supports were damaged, putting the structure in danger of collapse.

There is an arched access to the park on Distillery Lane, but many are unaware that it leads to the green haven, Cllr McCarthy told the Council Executive.

She said “other people who come into town are attracted into the Baby Walk by the World War I Monument, and others by the attractiveness of the Walk itself. They come to a dead end because there’s no bridge there, and come out again unaware that there’s a lovely park in beyond it.”

A green haven of over 5 hectares, the new development will create a visual connection with the Jameson Distillery.

Cllr Noel Collins said that connecting the Lodge Park and Baby’s Walk “would facilitate the many elderly who take a walk away from the hustle and bustle of Main Street, and sit for a while on the comfortable benches.”

The Blueprint for the new Park will see Distillery Walk cafés and restaurants incorporated into the Baby Walk, by creating raised and paved tables for slowing traffic.

The concept will include increasing the pedestrian realm, removal of the Heritage wall and allowing for outdoor tables and chairs, while also establishing a strong visual connection with the Park.

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