Limerick city councillor fears the city could be ’wiped out’

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

CITY councillor Gerry McLoughlin has called for all proposed developments on flood plains in Limerick City to be put on hold until 2014, when a new national plan prepared by the Office of Public Works comes into effect.

CITY councillor Gerry McLoughlin has called for all proposed developments on flood plains in Limerick City to be put on hold until 2014, when a new national plan prepared by the Office of Public Works comes into effect.

Speaking at the monthly meeting of Limerick City Council, the Labour member said he thinks the planning authority should not consider any applications relating to lands close to the Shannon River, for fear they might be damaged by flooding.

According to this new report, Limerick could be designated as being at risk of flooding, a move which could effectively scupper any more development around the city after 2014.

The draft flood emergency plan is expected to be published by the local authority shortly before being formally submitted to the OPW for consideration. The closing date for submissions was last Friday.

“I want to see all developments on the river stopped, all planning permissions on the river stopped until 2014 when the Catchment Flood Management Plan will be finalised,” he told the Limerick Leader this Wednesday.

Several areas of the city - most notably along the Mill Road in Corbally - were badly affected by flooding in 2009, and according to Limerick City Council, a number of other areas have been already identified as at serious risk.

“I think all city councillors should be looking at this, because what will happen is the Department of the Environment will rescind all planning applications on the river, and there will not be any council involvement,” claimed Cllr McLoughlin, adding he fears the city could be “wiped out” even with a small increase in the tide.

*A full version of this story was published in the print edition of Limerick Leader, dated October 8, 2011