Cork Chamber defend planned flood defences saying they are the "best solution" for the city

Cork Chamber defend planned flood defences saying they are the "best solution" for the city
Proposed flood defences along Cork's quay walls.

CORK Chamber is satisfied that current flood plans are the 'best solution' for Cork.

Officials from the representative group have urged the government to press ahead with the €140 million scheme, describing it as key to the future of Cork.

They have also encouraged critics of the scheme to engage with the OPW to resolve specific issues that may have emerged during the process.

Chamber officials this week welcomed the proposals on the table from the OPW, emphasising the importance of future-proofing Cork for climate change, economic growth and an expanding city population.

Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber, said, "The planned flood scheme represents a €140 million investment in Cork city - the biggest investment yet anywhere in Ireland and one that Cork has been advocating for decades.

"Cork Chamber is satisfied that all viable options have been considered by the OPW in the context of identifying the best solution for Cork."

The entire city will see the benefits of the scheme, Mr Healy added.

Within five years, more than 1km of new public walkways will be added to the city, alongside a new boardwalk, new public plazas and the restoration of more than 3km of masonry quay walls.

The upgrades will also see better disability access to the quays, a €20 million clean up of the quay area and improved protection for almost 400 protected structures, as well as the defence of the city against major flooding.

The planned flood defences for Grenville Place opposite the Mercy University Hospital.
The planned flood defences for Grenville Place opposite the Mercy University Hospital.

The Chamber say that these are key priorities for city businesses.

The representative group has been in discussion with the OPW on the defences for some time.

Mr Healy said, "After many years of waiting, we now have an opportunity to prevent the future expense and distress to more than 1,200 businesses located in the city centre by making flooding an issue of the past and instead look forward towards the future as we plan to grow our great city."

Elements of the scheme have come in for significant criticism locally.

Interest groups, such as Save Cork City, have hit out at the use of concrete and the development of high quay walls in parts of the city centre, advocating more holistic solutions instead.

These include better use of green space and trees further upstream.

Mr Healy encouraged those with specific issues to work directly with the OPW on solutions before the submission deadline on April 7.

He said, "While working with the OPW to secure additional localised modifications to the scheme, we encourage the business community and people of Cork to focus on specific design improvements in their responses to the OPW consultation."

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