Greens in Cork want a stay on flood defence work in the city centre

Greens in Cork want a stay on flood defence work in the city centre

A computer-generated view of the proposed flood defences on Morrison’s Island.

THE Green Party will call for a stay on a planning decision regarding the redesign of Morrison’s Island and ask for a special meeting at City Hall to be held to discuss alternatives.

The proposed flood defences scheme comprises of remedial works to the existing quay walls, construction of public realm improvement works and flood defence works between Parliament Bridge and Parnell Bridge along Morrison’s Quay and Fr Matthew Quay and a short section along Union Quay close to Trinity Footbridge.

The original planning application was scrapped by the city council after a legal challenge by the Save Cork City group and revised plans were lodged directly to An Bord Pleanála. A public consultation saw 660 submissions lodged by the general public.

Morrison’s Island is the lowest lying area of the city centre and is prone to tidal flooding.
Morrison’s Island is the lowest lying area of the city centre and is prone to tidal flooding.

A decision was to be made in June but it was delayed and the final decision is now expected in September.

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 scheme is a standalone project to be carried out by Cork City Council separate from the Office of Public Works estimated €140 million quay wall flood defence plans under the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme.

Councillor Dan Boyle said the Green Party will argue in City Hall next month that the local elections held in May should trigger a reconsideration of the project and the views of new council members should be heard.

“The issue is that this is a matter of ongoing controversy,” Mr Boyle told The Echo.

“There has been a set of elections since the original application has gone in. There has been public debate on the issue and it is clear that an opportunity for reconsideration should be taken and the results of the local election are a part of that information process, we would argue.

“There are alternatives that have been constantly rejected that should be pursued and there is a case about undermining the heritage of the city by putting concrete walls instead of traditional stone walls.

“That will be a price that the city shouldn’t have have to pay. This is an attempt to go back to An Bord Pleanála and say that we want to stall this process until we have further consideration at city council level,” Mr Boyle added.

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