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A computer-generated view of the planned flood defences and street upgrades for Morrison's Island.
A computer-generated view of the planned flood defences and street upgrades for Morrison's Island.
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More than 600 submissions received on the Morrison's Island flood defence scheme

More than 600 submissions have been received by An Bord Pleanála on the revised Morrison’s Island street upgrade and flood defences scheme.

Cork City Council is planning the major upgrade of the area aiming to create a three-metre wide pedestrian walkway, changing the traffic to one-way in a clockwise direction, reducing the parking spaces and creating open plazas at Trinity Bridge and at the South Mall.

In their application, City Hall said flood defences will also form part of the proposal with knee-high parapets topped with railings.

The application was open for the public to make submissions on.

An Bord Pleanála confirmed to The Echo that they receive 630 submissions on the plans. Given the volume of responses, the planning body took out adverts to confirm they had received the submissions.

Morrisons's Island is one of the lowest-lying parts of the city. It floods regularly at periods of strong tides.

Under the plans, it is proposed to undertake significant works to the existing quay walls including cleaning, repointing and grouting.

City Hall said they have a long-term objective of enhancing the south facing quays which are currently dominated by parking and are underutilised.

The Council wants to create a linked pedestrian route along the riverside between the boardwalks at Grand Parade and Lapps Quay. A key element of this route is the length between Parliament Bridge and Parnell Bridge along Morrison’s Quay and Fr Mathew Quay.

As a result, they lodged plans to upgrade the road, footpaths and quay walls on Morrison’s Island to make them more pedestrian friendly while also creating flood defences.

The plans for the upgrades were lodged previously and were met with strong opposition from the Save Cork City who opposes the construction of flood walls in the city centre saying they will damage Cork’s heritage and instead propose a downstream tidal barrier.

After permission was granted by Cork City Councillors last May, Save Cork City mounted a legal challenge against the decision citing a recent decision of the European Court of Justice.

As a result, in October, City Hall announced it was halting the planned scheme and a new planning process would begin after a new environmental screening process takes place.

City Hall lodged their revised plans just before Christmas and the proposals have gone directly to An Bord Pleanála for a decision.

“Improved footpath finishes on the building side of the quays will encourage property owners to consider changes to the ground floor uses to capitalise on the south-facing riverside aspect and increased footfall,” City Council planners stated int heir application.” 

“Architecturally designed plaza spaces adjacent to Parnell Bridge and Trinity Bridge will create safe places for people to sit and enjoy as well as pass through, with the potential for them to be used for events/activities.”

“The project will deliver a high-quality public amenity space which also delivers the required standard of flood protection in a seamless and integrated fashion.”