Dunnes Stores Sprouts Excitement with Plan for Urban Farm in Cork

"Dunnes Stores Seeks Approval for Urban Farm Project in Cork City for Educational Use"

Dunnes Stores, the well-known retail chain, is making a unique foray into urban agriculture by proposing the establishment of an urban farm in Cork city. This innovative project, which also aims to serve educational purposes, is being spearheaded by Better Value Unlimited Company, a subsidiary of Dunnes Stores. The company has applied for planning permission from Cork City Council to develop the urban farm on a plot of land situated just south of Ballyvolane Shopping Centre. The proposed site is conveniently bordered by Ballyhooly Road to the east and the North Ring Road to the south.

The application submitted by Better Value Unlimited Company seeks approval for the utilization of approximately 1.42 hectares of land for the establishment of an urban farm dedicated to agricultural activities such as market gardening, agroforestry, and educational initiatives. The company envisions a multifaceted urban farm plan that aims to leverage the natural resources of the area for sustainable agricultural practices.

According to the proposal, the northern section of the site, situated north of the Glen River, will be designated for market gardening activities, specifically focusing on the cultivation of a variety of fruits and vegetables. This area will feature a 210m² polytunnel, a repurposed shipping container measuring 28.2m² that will serve as a multipurpose facility for canteen, toilet, and storage purposes, designated crop growing zones, and an outdoor welcome area designed to facilitate educational programs.

On the southern side of the river, the plan includes the implementation of an agroforestry system that will integrate the cultivation of trees with crops of fruits, flowers, and vegetables. The selection of trees will be tailored to ensure a diverse range of fruit crops, as outlined in the detailed planning application submitted to Cork City Council.

In addition to the agricultural components, the development project encompasses various infrastructure and amenities to support the functioning of the urban farm. These features include wood chip pathways, a small bridge structure spanning the Glen River with a width of 2.24 meters, landscaping elements, tree planting initiatives, rain harvesting barrels, boundary fencing, a riparian buffer area, a designated set down/collection point within the shopping centre’s car park, temporary access routes from R614 Ballyhooly Road during the construction phase, and all other necessary site development works and services.

The provision of essential utilities such as potable water and electricity will be facilitated by the shopping centre, ensuring the operational sustainability of the urban farm. The proposed project is currently awaiting a decision from Cork City Council, with an expected verdict to be delivered in mid-June, signaling a potential milestone in the integration of urban agriculture within the cityscape of Cork.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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