Decision due on apartments on Cork site that flooded in 2009

JBA Consulting Engineers say protection will save planned student complex from floods

River Lee flows towards Cork city following flooding in 2009. Photograph: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

River Lee flows towards Cork city following flooding in 2009. Photograph: Michael MacSweeney/Provision

 

A decision on whether to grant planning permission for a student apartment complex on a site that was badly flooded in 2009 is due from Cork City Council this week.

Developers Gainstar Ltd Partnership applied for planning for 92 apartments on the site of the former Coca Cola bottling plant in December.

The site is located just west of Cork County Hall on the Carrigrohane Straight, and 2.5km from Cork city centre.

The council is due to rule on Friday on planning for the project which comprises a mix of three- to six-bedroom apartments in buildings which range from four to seven storeys on a 0.82 hectare site zoned for “ residential, local services and institutional uses”.

According to JBA Consulting Engineers, for the developers, the site is across the Lee Fields Park, with a tributary of the Lee on its southern boundary.

In documents lodged in support of the planning application, JBA Consulting Engineers looked at the flood history of the site and found that both in August 1986 and February 1990 the Lee overflowed the Lee Fields Park and flooded the Carrigrohane Straight. The site in question was not affected by either of these floods.

However, in November 2009, when the ESB was forced to increase discharges from the Inniscarra dam 14km upstream, the site flooded to a depth of 0.4m-0.5m

On that occasion the nearby Kingsley Hotel, Cork County Hall, the UCC Gateway building and Glucksman Gallery were all flooded, causing millions of euro in damage and resulting in a High Court case by UCC against the ESB.

The site was unscathed during the recent winter flooding.

JBA Consulting Engineers said while the development was in an area at “high-probability of flooding”, a key consideration was the lower Lee flood relief scheme that would provide defences along the Lee and Curraheen rivers .

The engineers said consideration should be given to “inundation depths and the design of mitigation” for the development. Raising the finished floor level to 5.67m above sea level would provide such protection.