Cork Business Association and Cork Chamber have welcomed the progress shown in the detail and design of the Lower Lee flood relief scheme following the publication of the OPW consultation report.
Both organisations believe that the development of an appropriate flood-defence scheme is critical for business in Cork. The proposed OPW scheme provides comprehensive protection from tidal and fluvial flooding through a raft of measures from upstream bunds to the restoration of 3km of walls in the City Centre.
Chamber President Bill O’ Connell said,
We’ve been consistent in our support of the scheme, provided that it is finished to a high standard and respectful to the heritage of the city. It is important to note the extensive lengths being taken, not only through the provision of flood protection but through innovative measures at locations such as North Mall and Sullivan’s Quay. We highlighted the need for improved design during the consultation and the inclusion of full retractable demountable barriers at these locations show the lengths being taken to listen to stakeholders. We welcome the improved design published today.
Speaking on the concept of a tidal barrier, Cork Business Association President Pat O’Connell said,
“The published OPW report shows that even if a tidal barrier were viable from a planning, environmental, navigation and cost perspective, the current scheme is a necessary first step for fluvial flooding and to reduce the dependency on any potential future barrier closures. At a minimum, the provision of City Centre flood defence is a critical component of any long-term additional solution.”
Both organisations look forward to the lodgement of the Morrisons Island Part 8 application which will mark the first phase of the project. The Part 8 process will provide the opportunity for further consultation on this element. Following completion of Morrison’s Island, the project will move upstream away from the city with works being carried out on a phased and incremental basis.
Pat O’Connell said, “With the threat of flooding in the City repeatedly looming in the past few months, the time to act has never been greater. It is great to see the project moving towards commencement with Morrisons island which will provide an urgently needed first step towards protecting City centre businesses. We look forward to reviewing the Part 8 application once available in the coming week or so.”
Bill O’Connell said, “The OPW scheme marks the State’s largest ever investment in flood defences and one of the largest ever investments in Cork. The business community will stay engaged with the project team to ensure that the quality of design and finish is upheld to the highest standards for the businesses and people of Cork.”