6 December 2017
By Elaine Murphy
Publication of Exhibition Report on €140 million Flood Relief Scheme for Cork City addresses issues raised during statutory public consultation process.
Today, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and its consultants Arup published the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme Exhibition Report which responds to and addresses the issues which were raised by the public as part of the statutory public consultation process on the proposed Scheme which ran from December 2016 to April 2017.
Minister Kevin “Boxer” Moran said “The publication of this Exhibition Report is a key milestone in the progression of this highly important project for Cork City and its environs and for the country as a whole. The Cork City Flood Relief Scheme when it is constructed will be the largest ever flood relief scheme undertaken in Ireland and will provide protection to 2,100 properties, including 900 homes and 1,200 businesses, extending from Inniscarra Dam to the City Centre. It is designed to best international standards to provide protection against the 1 in 100 year fluvial and one in 200 year tidal flood events.”
The Cork City Flood Relief Scheme is being advanced under the Arterial Drainage Acts 1945 and 1995. The Scheme has been developed in close collaboration with all key stakeholders, including Cork City Council, Cork County Council and the ESB. During the public consultation phase, members of the public were able to make their comments on the Scheme and over 1,100 made submissions on the Scheme. The OPW will be responding over the coming months to each individual and organisation that made a submission. The Report published today brings together the main outcomes of the public consultation process, explains the essential facts about the Scheme and answers the questions raised by the public during the formal consultation process particularly in relation to suggested alternative measures to address flooding in Cork City.
The Minister went on to say, “The OPW has a proven track record in the delivery of effective flood relief schemes which provide technical, economic and environmentally sound solutions and afford the best protection and benefits to communities affected by flooding. The Cork Scheme takes account of architectural, environmental and heritage considerations raised during the public consultation process and provides a technically feasible and integrated flood defence solution for the City in line with best international standards. It has also been designed in order that it is adaptable to provide greater protection in the future in response to climate change”.
“Recent flooding events again identified the hardship that occurs in communities that are affected by flooding and highlights the necessity to urgently bring forward flooding solutions for communities that are constantly under threat from flooding”, the Minister said. “There is a long history of flooding in Cork City most recently in November 2009, February 2014 and in winter 2015/16 with significant damage estimated at over €130 million to commercial and residential property in Cork.”
The Minister concluded, “This Scheme is of vital importance to Cork City and to the entire Cork Region and it is essential that it is implemented without delay. It will remove the worry and stress that people have had to endure for far too long and it will also remove barriers to future investment helping to reinvigorate the city centre and its environs. I am satisfied that the Exhibition Report published today shows that the OPW has listened to concerns raised during the consultation process and has responded to and addressed these in a positive and constructive way. I look forward to the start of the first phase of the Scheme which will be submitted for planning by Cork City Council in early 2018 as part of an integrated Public Realm project for the Morrison’s Island area of the City. This will provide protection for the City against tidal flooding and construction works are planned to commence in 2018”.