Minister challenges plan allowing development of town centre on flood plain

Moves to allow the development of a town centre on a flood plain in Midleton have been challenged by Housing and Planning Minister Jan O’Sullivan.

She has issued notice to Midleton Town Council that she plans to direct the overturning of its development plan, voted last month, which allowed the zoning of an area close to the Ballinacurra river to be zoned as development land for a town centre.

Ms O’Sullivan said it should instead be zoned as suitable for recreational and outdoor use only, as it is at high risk of flooding.

She said the development plan contravenes flood risk guidelines and that other lands suitable for town centre expansion are available. She said the land, at The Mogeesha, in the Watersedge area, is removed from the core of the town and is not essential to the future development of Midleton.

Last month, Cork County Council warned Midleton town councillors they face being personally liable for future flood damage if they act contrary to a ministerial recommendation.

Planners advised that failure to de-zone could also endanger lives.

On receiving notice of the minister’s intention to issue a directive, Midleton Town Council has two weeks to publish a notice for public consultation. Within four weeks of receiving the submissions, the council manager must report back to the minister.

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