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Cork Independent


New planning process for docklands project

Wednesday, 18th March, 2020 3:04pm

“There is now an opportunity to rebalance the scheme in favour of the greater public good.”

That was the sentiment of Save Cork City after a High Court case taken by the opposition group against the Cork Docklands Road Network Scheme was conceded by Cork City Council earlier this month.

Cork City Council said their decision was due to an omission in the Part 8 planning application public notice whereby the conclusions of the environmental screening exercise, while undertaken, were not referenced in the notice.

Save Cork City, who are opposed to the flood relief works at Morrison’s Island based on plans to raise the quay walls, felt raising the quay wall along Albert Quay was not highlighted or advertised as much as it should in the Docklands plan and sought a judicial review of the €6.5 million project.

A statement to the Cork Independent from Save Cork City said: “There is now an opportunity to rebalance the scheme in favour of the greater public good as well as serving the needs of docklands development which is also a benefit.”

The statement added that the High Court case and others like it highlight the issue of how public service works or doesn’t work at local and national level.

“Every day we see pressure from central government put on local government to spend in ways that are not suitable for local circumstances and are inappropriate to local needs.

“Process takes precedence and makes the job of local public servants difficult but it also creates a very poor relationship between local government and civil society,” the statement claimed.

It concluded: “Here in Cork we need to find a way to support effective local representation for local people within the system or else we need to change the system. That’s the challenge we have to face if we are to stop the cycle of Cork City Council acting against the wishes of civil society against all common sense.

“We welcome that the case has been conceded by city council. We see this as a courageous step by the council and as a win for everyone in Cork.”

Cork City Council said it remains fully committed to this important public realm and sustainable transport project. It will now undertake a new Part 8 planning process with the design, as previously approved, being subject to further public consultation.

Director of Infrastructure Development Gerry O’Beirne said: “The notice omission and consequential action and delay are sincerely regretted. The administrative error in the drafting of the public notice reflected a weakness in the council’s internal processes which has since been corrected. A new planning process will be undertaken in respect of the proposed works. This will take an estimated four to five months to complete.”

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