Residents in Cork are being warned that consequences will be grave if they choose not to allow the erection of the €140m flood defences planned for the city.
Minister for the Office of Public Works Seán Canney said the plans have been designed to protect homes and businesses in the city.
Local campaigners have expressed fears that the construction of concrete walls along some of the quays would result in a loss of access to the river without any guarantee of alleviating flooding in the city centre.
Speaking on Cork’s RedFM, Mr Canney said all views will be taken on board but a decision has to be made to protect homes and businesses.
“In Cork anybody who has experienced flooding knows exactly what the consequences are. It is devastating for them and it leaves an indelible mark on them. I think it is important that we as a Government provide as much in terms of comfort in providing flood defences where we can and putting in a solution that works. And also bringing about a situation where these houses, these businesses can be re insured again.”
The multimillion-euro project aims to protect more than 2,000 homes and businesses from flooding, by creating washlands for flood waters upstream, and by constructing walls and embankments along the river’s edge in the city centre.
The main issue raised in the Save Cork City campaign is the building of flood defence walls on the quays in the city and a concern that this will damage the existing historic fabric of the quays, remove vegetation and remove the existing diversity of frontage to the river.
As an alternative to flood walls, it is claimed that storage achieved by upstream diversion of open drainage and the utilisation of woodland and wetland buffers or linear parks could reduce the flows sufficiently to avoid the necessity for flood walls on the quays.
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