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An aerial view east over Cork's sprawling 160-hectare City Docks region covering both the north and south side of the river.
An aerial view east over Cork's sprawling 160-hectare City Docks region covering both the north and south side of the river.
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€1bn Cork docklands project to move forward in 2018

AMBITIOUS plans to drive forward the €1 billion development of the Cork city docklands are expected to be published early next year.

Once the plans are made public, city officials are confident the development of the 220-hectare site will progress rapidly.

Under the Cork City Development Plan, the massive brownfield site is earmarked for the delivery of almost 10,000 houses and nearly 30,000 jobs.

Major plans for a rapid transit corridor are included, as are vast amounts of office, retail and residential developments.

Pat Ledwidge, deputy chief executive of Cork City Council. Photo: Cathal Noonan
Pat Ledwidge, deputy chief executive of Cork City Council. Photo: Cathal Noonan
Local Area Plans for the North and South Docks are being prepared presently, with officials at City Hall confirming that these are expected to be published by ‘quarter two of 2018’.

Workshops took place earlier this year to inform the drafting of the two new proposals, while the City is also in the process of completing a number of essential studies to inform the plans.

This includes a full assessment of the flood protection in the area as the current Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme does not take into account the area earmarked for major development.

Pat Ledwidge, deputy chief executive of Cork City Council, confirmed the plans are expected to be finalised early next year before being put out to public consultation and amended if needed. “We expect them in quarter two next year and, from there, it is quite a quick process to implement them,” he said.

Mr Ledwidge described it as a ‘fundamental milestone’ in the development of the area.

Prior to publication, Cork City Council is due to conduct a number of essential studies in the area to inform the final

versions of the plans. This includes a traffic study, incorporating elements facilitating a ‘modal shift’ from car to non-car transport, including the likes of rapid transit bus corridors or, potentially, light rail, and an environmental impact study on the wider harbour, including flora and fauna.

There is also an in-depth investigation into the flood impact in the wider area, with the local authority seeking expert advice as to whether developments in the area would be insurable.

The south docks has only been impacted by flooding a handful of times, with most damage in the area, including Monahan and Centre Park road, caused by storm damage instead.

Mr Ledwidge said the progress already seen in the wider dockland area illustrates the confidence and demand in the proposals.

“We can see development at Navigation Square and plans for Horgan’s Quay, as well as other areas,” he said. “You can see from these and others that the demand for the space is there. These plans show that there is a need for the docklands development.”