Following the news of an application for Judicial Review of An Bord Pleanala’s decision to approve the Morrison’s Island project, Cork City Council’s Deputy Chief Executive, Brian Geaney, stated:
“Cork City Council is very disappointed with this action. The Morrison’s Island scheme is a key city centre redevelopment project, and is much needed to rejuvenate these south facing quays and attract inward investment to Cork, while also providing protection to the city centre from the most frequent tidal flood events”.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Joe Kavanagh, has also expressed his regret at this potential delay in progressing the project, noting that the proposals were approved by Cork City Councillors in 2018, and that the project has the strong support of the local business representative groupings.
Gerry O’Beirne, Director of Service for Infrastructure Development, expressed frustration at the level of misinformation that is again being put in the public sphere regarding the Morrison’s Island Project. He said:
“The public realm improvements proposed for Morrison’s Island will fulfil a long-standing objective of the City Council to regenerate this city centre area. As the area suffers from frequent flooding, it is incumbent on Cork City Council to address the related flood risk when designing the public realm enhancement works“.
Representatives of Cork’s business community express similar disappointment in the move. Lawrence Owens, Chief Executive Officer of Cork Business Association said:
‘’The Cork Business Association is both disappointed and frustrated that another impediment has been put in the way of the proposed Morrison’s Island Public Realm and Flood Defence project .To comment on some of the claims made by those seeking this Judicial Review would afford them far more credence than they warrant. We will nonetheless continue to actively support this project which is criticality important for the city and the citizens of Cork.’’
An Bord Pleanála’s decision is clear and unequivocal, with the Inspector’s Report stating “The benefits of the scheme are considered to be significant in terms of reducing the severity and hardship experienced by residents and businesses as a result of tidal flooding in the area. It will also provide for necessary remedial works to the architecturally significant quay walls and provide for a much-improved public realm, which is likely to benefit the recreational and commercial amenities of the waterside area. I am satisfied that the proposed development is justified and supported by the policy framework for the area, particularly the policies and objectives of the Cork City Development Plan”.
Cork City Council firmly believes that the Morrison’s Island project has undergone rigorous assessment, and the Council intends to finalise the detailed design required for the tender process, in anticipation of a positive outcome from the Judicial Review application.