Speaking following the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for a major infrastructural project including two new bridges to open up Cork Docklands, Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator Jerry Buttimer today (Friday) said the decision is to be welcomed but that a Government commitment to funding for the development must now be given.
“The granting of this decision is the final piece in the jigsaw. Cork Docklands has four major developers waiting to get started and this announcement gives the green light to Cork City Council to proceed as planned.
“Any future development, however, is very much conditional on Government funding and on the banks passing on credit to the developers.
“The granting of permission for the two bridges across the river Lee at Tivoli and Water Street, along with permission to raise road levels in the Docklands, is hugely significant in terms of the development of the area and the jobs that will be created as a result.
“Under the National Spatial Strategy, Cork has been designated a gateway city. Furthermore, the Cork Docklands Development Forum report, which to date remains unpublished despite having been leaked to opposition politicians and a national newspaper, states that these projects must go ahead, not just for the sake of the local economy but for the importance of the national economy. Long term, this project is critical to Cork and the entire southern region.
“The Dockland development has the potential to create tens of thousands of new jobs. Economic studies have shown that if the Government invests in the region of €120 million to €200 million, dividends of up to €680 million can be obtained for the local economy per year.
“It is essential that we plan for when Ireland comes through this recession. Government inaction must not continue to stifle opportunity. There is a critical need for a firm commitment for funding of the Docklands project. If we invest now we can be ready to benefit in the future. If this was Dublin the money would be at the ready. Cork must now be shown the same level of commitment. The Cork Docklands project is ten years in the making with Cork City Council having done all the work so far. It’s time for the Government to support their efforts to date, make this project a reality and get Cork up and running and back to work.”