Fine Gael TD for Cork East Constituency, David Stanton, has called on the Government to ensure that funding is provided for the upgrade of the N25 national road to encourage investment in the adjacent 133-acre IDA owned former Amgen site at Ballyadam outside of Carrigtwohill.
Raising the matter with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney TD, in the Dáil Chamber, David Stanton said: “The Minister will be very aware of the IDA Ireland site in Ballyadam in Carrigtwohill, which is known as the former Amgen site. It is probably one of the best resourced and serviced sites in the country, with a motorway on one side, a rail line on the other, and Cork Airport, the Port of Cork and third level institutions nearby. It has been lying idle for 17 years. Why is it not being developed? How many site visits have there been in the past while?
“I was told in 2015 by the then Minister, Deputy Bruton, that there had been four significant inquiries, but these did not come to anything. Is it not a fact that the road infrastructure deficit is the main reason the site is not being developed? Does the Minister agree with Mr. Martin Shanahan, the former head of the IDA, who told me at a committee meeting more than a year ago that this was the case and that the road needed to be upgraded? Is it not a disgrace that the upgrade of the road has been long-fingered? Given the shortage of such sites in the country, is it not time that the Government decided to upgrade the road so that the site can be developed properly?”.
Deputy Stanton also pointed out the proposed development of thousands of housing units at nearby Water Rock as well as the very dangerous condition of the road currently as further significant reasons for an upgrade of the N25 to be given the go ahead.
Acknowledging that the road infrastructure is a major problem, Minister Coveney said: “East Cork is a highly competitive place globally in terms of attracting FDI. The close proximity to Cork Airport, a highly skilled workforce across the Cork region, and the Government’s €200 million investment in the rail network between Cork and Midleton and Cork and Cobh are a help. That said, this strategic site is a priority for me and the IDA. It would be a significant help if we could upgrade the road infrastructure in and around the site, as accessing the site is difficult. I will continue speaking to the Minister for Transport about this matter.
“A portion of the site has been used for the interconnector with France, the related grid management system and so on. All of that is useful, but this is a site in a perfect location that is well served. It would be significantly helpful if we could get the road upgrade that was committed to. In budgetary terms, it seems that will not happen this year, but we need to work on bringing investment forward on the N25 generally as soon as we can”; concluded the Minister.