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Cork Independent


Morrison's Island project could start by September

Tuesday, 15th May, 2018 10:42am

Morrison’s Island is one step closer to being regenerated after its controversial flood defence and public realm project was given the green light last night. 
Cork City Councillors voted to give Part 8 planning permission to the €6 million public realm and controversial flood defence plans for Morrison’s Island which the council estimates will remove 80 per cent of the flood threat in the city centre.
After a lengthy debate in the City Council chambers, which lasted about 90 minutes, councillors voted to give the Office of Public Works (OPW) project the go ahead by 22 to six. 
During the debate, Solidarity Cllr Fiona Ryan asked that independent review of the OPW plan be conducted. However, the council was not in a position to do this at last night’s meeting.
The majority of councillors agreed with the OPW plan saying that residents and business in the city centre need flood defences as soon as possible. 
Construction is expected to start in September with works predicted to be completed in 12 months.
The scheme includes an enhanced south-facing quayside streetscape, with improved pedestrian and cycling facilities, between Parnell Bridge and Parliament Bridge, a viewing platform over the river Lee, three new public plazas, and a mini-boardwalk as well as integrated flood defences.
It will be delivered along Morrison’s Island and Fr Mathew Quays between Parliament Bridge and Parnell Bridge as well as a short section of works at Union Quay close to Trinity footbridge. As a result of the works, it is thought that 40-50 parking spaces will be lost. 
These quays are the lowest lying in the city centre and are regularly flooded due to tide. 
Trinity footbridge is also to be redeveloped and remedial and strengthening works are to be carried out to the existing quay walls as part of the construction of integrated flood defence work. 
Widespread public consultation took place around the project with briefings being made to city councillors, business associations, local businesses, residents, community and voluntary groups and the wider public. Around1,400 planning submissions were received in relation to the scheme.
The Morrisons Island scheme was uncoupled from the wider €140 million Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme so that the protection of the city centre could be expedited. David Joyce, who is overseeing the project for the city council, was keen to stress last night that it was a standalone project. 
Lord Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: "This scheme will deliver a high quality public amenity space for a long neglected area of the city but also the required level of flood protection for the wider city centre. Tonight's vote will be warmly welcomed by traders who have suffered enormously in previous flooding events."

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