Employment and Land Use Survey 2006

Project Outline

The City Council has undertaken Employment and Land Use Surveys in the City since the early 1970s. The information collected provides a basis for monitoring development and employment trends in the city.

Survey work is generally conducted every five years to co-incide with the Census of Population giving continuity and an opportunity for comparison between different surveys and further insight into changing economic trends for both the city as a whole and defined areas within it, such as the City Centre There is no other source of this kind of comprehensive information on the city and is therefore an extremely valuable tool in the work of the section. In summary it gives information on:

  • Employment by type, number, location, growth, decline, length of operation.
  • Land use by type, location, floors 

Relevance and Uses 

General uses for the Survey include:

Monitoring the economic health of the City’s various sectors (e.g. industry, retail, and professional services) through comparison with previous surveys. It can be useful in discovering growing or declining sectors such as the decline in manufacturing in suburban locations or the performance of retail in the City Centre.

Informing planning policy. The main uses in policy formulation include: 

  • Development Plan – retail, office, employment policy. The 2001 Survey results were used extensively in the preparation of the 2004 Development Plan, particularly in relation to employment and retail policies in Chapters 3, 9 and 10.
  • Renewal projects – LOTS, IAPs and Docklands. Employment and Land Use survey results helped inform the identification of buildings for the LOTS Scheme and the choosing of Blackpool and the Docks areas under the 1998 Integrated Area Plan Urban Renewal Schemes
  • Local Area Plans – Information from the Employment and Land Use Survey was used in the formation of policies for the Lower Glanmire Road Area in the North Docks Local Area Plan.
  • Cork Area Strategic Plan – The survey results were used to help develop economic policies in CASP. The 2006 survey results would be particularly useful in providing a baseline to monitor progress on the Cork Area Strategic Plan.
  • The survey was used in the preparation of the Joint Retail Strategy
  • The preparation of the Cork Docklands Development Strategy was informed by employment figures from the 2001 Survey. 

Identifying areas with concentrations of particular activities (e.g. warehousing, education, software etc.) If areas with concentrations can be identified, policies for these areas can be developed to support these activities (e.g. protection of city centre shopping functions, expansion of office activity). Recently, information from the 2001 Employment and Land Use Survey was used in the preparation of a policy for the location of ‘super-pubs’ in the city by establishing which areas already had a large concentration of such uses.  

Informing research upon which applications for funding to both Government and the European Union are based.  

The Employment and Land Use Survey results can be used in the estimation of new business start- ups (e.g. set up in last year, or last 5 years). Comparison with previous surveys can then be used to estimate survival rates of new businesses. 

Allows estimation of female participation rate in the labour market; a large factor in the future development of the labour force. 

Results from the 2001 Employment and Land Use Survey have a number of wider uses. They were used by a number of other Directorates:

  • The Community and Enterprise Directorate have used the results of the Survey on several occasions when analysising employment trends in the city and community infrastructure.  
  • The Recreation, Amenity and Culture used baseline data from the Survey to inform the preparation of the 2004 Recreational Needs Study  
  • The Water section of the Environment Directorate used the results of the Survey in an analysis of the City Council’s water charges for non-domestic customers  
  • Survey Results are used on an on-going basis by the Planning Enforcement Section to establish former or current uses of premises.  
  • Survey results are also used to inform decisions on planning applications helping establish to need for of extent of retail and employment uses in a particular area. 

The results of the Survey have also been made available in aggregate from to external bodies such as the IDA and Forfas. A private consultancy firm conducting research into childcare facilities in the City also availed of information. 

In essence, the survey enables the Department to monitor the economic health of the city’s various sectors, discovering growing or declining sectors and their locations and concentration. This enables policies to be amended or formed which facilitate further development or assist in arresting decline. 

Future Relevance

The Employment and Land Use Survey conducted by the City Council in the past have provided a large volume of valuable information that has been put to a wide range of uses. A new Employment and Land Use Survey would be used in the review of the current City Development Plan and preparation of the next Plan. Furthermore, such a Survey would be particularly useful in providing data on areas which have experienced rapid change in recent years such as Blackpool and the City Centre. It will help in the assessment of the success or otherwise of the Urban Renewal Schemes and the identification of future areas for renewal should any new schemes be introduced. 

The survey results would also prove very useful to the Community and Enterprise Directorate by providing baseline data for the analysis of employment trends and the development of enterprise policies for the City. In general, the information collected in the survey gives the City Council an insight into change and development in the City at a given time, which in turn facilitates the Council to make or amend policies which should result in a better city in which to live, work and spend leisure time.