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Morrison’s Island to be regenerated

Wednesday, 24th June, 2020 3:03pm

Controversial flood relief plans were given the green light recently in the city centre, with a tendering process due to start in the coming months.

The Morrison’s Island Public Realm and Flood Defence project has been a bone of contention for many residents and business owners in the city since it was first mooted several years ago for varying reasons, including the loss of car parking spaces and changes to the historic quay walls.

An Bord Pleanála has given the €6 million project the go ahead aftera series of stops and starts since councillors first sanctioned it in May 2018.

A legal challenge was mounted by opposition group Save Cork City in July 2018 which paved the way for a judicial review to take place. In October of the same year, City Hall said that because of a new requirement to undertake a new environmental screening process, it would not be proceeding with the project.

A new planning application for the works at Morrison’s Island was then submitted around Christmas time in 2018.

In giving the go head to the project in the past week, the planning board said the project would deliver significant benefits in terms of reducing the risk of tidal flooding in the area as well as provide for necessary remedial works to the quay walls and improve the public realm.

Officials at City Hall welcomed the decision with Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Joe Kavanagh saying: “This is a transformational scheme for the city centre and for riverside amenity and I believe it will be warmly welcomed by Cork people and visitors alike.”

Save Cork City said it regretted the decision and thanked all of its supporters. In a statement it said: “The potential of the city centre to thrive, to create wellbeing and to attract investment can only be realised with the support of civil society. People aren't inclined to live or invest in places where local government acts in conflict with its own citizens. The disharmony caused by the OPW scheme for Cork, which is funding Morrison’s Island proposals, is not constructive in a city trying to recover and re-identify itself as a liveable place that's attractive for investment in such changing times as ours.”

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