Legal challenge set to further delay Cork city flood project

Legal challenge set to further delay Cork city flood project
An overview of the full extent Morrison's Island flood defences project. Picture: Cork City Council.

The already delayed €6m public realm upgrade of historic quays in Cork’s Morrison’s Island area is facing another legal challenge.

Save Cork City (SCC) Community Association Ltd, the main opponents of the city’s €150m flood defence project, have applied for a judicial review of An Bórd Pleanála’s decision in June to approve the Morrison’s Island public realm and flood defence project.

Delivery of the massive scheme, which includes inbuilt flood defences, was delayed last year after a legal challenge from SCC forced the local authority to submit a new planning application for the scheme to An Bórd Pleanála.

The board approved the project in June and said it will deliver significant benefits for the city.

The proposed Trinity Bridge outside the College of Commerce as part of the Morrison's Island plans.
The proposed Trinity Bridge outside the College of Commerce as part of the Morrison's Island plans.

Earlier this month, the city council said the detailed design of its “long-held vision to revive and regenerate” quays in the Morrison’s Island area is being finalised, and that it is intended to have a works contractor on site early next year.

But it has been confirmed this morning that SCC Community Association Ltd applied in the High Court yesterday for a judicial review of the Bórd's decision on a number of grounds.

The Statement of Grounds for the review was presented by Jerry Healy SC and John Kenny BL. Save Cork City (SCC) are represented by FP Logue Solicitors.

The application was adjourned to November 3, 2020, for a decision on whether SCC can proceed with its challenge.

The project proposed significant upgrades along Morrison’s Quay and Fr Matthew Quay between Parliament Bridge and Parnell Bridge, including upgraded streetscape incorporating a wide riverside promenade, a much-improved setting for Holy Trinity Church, a plaza at the eastern end of the South Mall and a redesigned Trinity Bridge.

3. Morrison's Island Public Realm and Flood Defence Project (proposed)
3. Morrison's Island Public Realm and Flood Defence Project (proposed)

Changes will be made to traffic movements along the quays, with a significant reduction in car parking space, and additional bicycle parking due to be provided.

The historic cut limestone quay walls will be refurbished, and access points to the river will be opened up.

The Morrison’s Island area is one of the most vulnerable parts of the city centre to tidal flooding.

The city council says the public realm and flood defence project has been designed to remove an estimated 80% of the flood threat to city centre businesses.


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