Flood defences described as ‘destruction of heritage’

Flood defences described as ‘destruction of heritage’
Proposed flood defences along Cork's quay walls. Grenville Place

AN architect who is campaigning to prevent walled flood defences being built around the city has urged people to make submissions to An Bord Pleanala to prevent the “largest planned destruction of heritage in the State”.

Architect John Hegarty is urging people to appeal to An Bord Pleanala ahead of the February 12 deadline for submissions.

Mr Hegarty, who is a part of the Save Cork City campaign, insists there is a better flood relief solution available for Cork than current proposals to raise quay walls and install demountable structures.

According to the campaign, hundreds of submissions to City Hall have been ignored.

Mr Hegarty said the scheme being proposed will be visually damaging to the city. It includes 10km of concrete walls, 22 pump chambers and a kilometre of demountable structures, which will prevent pedestrians from accessing the city’s bridges when engaged.

Looking at the alternatives, he insists a tidal barrier would provide faster flood protection for more of Cork, including the docklands.

He said the Save Cork City campaign is still ongoing and the reaction they are getting from people is one of frustration.

Mr Hegarty said that for the development plan on the docklands it makes more sense not to pursue the walls project.

“People are annoyed and people are angry. We know things take time, but this is supposed to be a democratic process and we are being ignored.

“There is a faster, better, proposal which costs less available. This is based on the conclusions of experts we have employed.”

Mr Hegarty said that the campaign is not against flood protection.

“We, of course, want flood protection, but we want more sustainable protection, that is better, faster and costs less.”

The architect said that there are a number of things that things about the project that don’t make sense and there are fundamental flaws.

“We have provided solutions, we want the right solution.”

In order to submit an objection, you must write to An Bord Pleanála by February 12.

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