9. Environmental Infrastructure

Dúntadate_range26 Iúil, 2021, 9:00am - 4 D.F., 2021, 4:00pm

 PDF version



The sustainable growth and management of the City’s development depends on the provision of good quality infrastructure, while protecting the environment from pollution. Issues such as an adequate supply of clean water, good air quality and sustainable waste management are of major importance to the City’s residents and play a key role in addressing the challenges of climate change. A strategic approach is required to plan for the orderly, future development of the city and this is set out in the Core Strategy section of this plan. This plan will support the provision of infrastructure in a manner that protects public health, is environmentally appropriate and addresses the challenges of climate change.

Water & Wastewater


The availability of a clean, plentiful supply of drinking water is of key importance to the health of the City’s residents. Adequate wastewater treatment is also fundamental in protecting water bodies and public health. Clean Water and Sanitation is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN’s Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development 1. Since 2014 Irish Water has been responsible for the operation of public water and wastewater services nationally. This includes strategic planning, policy development, service provision, customer service and capital investment planning and delivery of water services. Cork City Council currently operates water services on an agency basis for Irish Water as part of a Service Level Agreement in the pre-2019 City boundary area, while Cork County Council continues to manage water and wastewater services in the extended boundary area.


The EU Water Framework Directive 2 outlines the overarching set of arrangements governing the management of water quality across Europe. The National Planning Framework (NPF) 3 recognises that some of the key national environmental challenges include the need to accelerate action on health risks to drinking water and treating urban wastewater. It recognises that good planning is critically important to the management of water resources. High level policy for the delivery and development of water and wastewater services is set out in the Department of Planning, Housing and Local Government’s document: Water Services Policy Statement 2018 –20254. The three themes identified are water quality, water conservation and futureproofing of assets. One of the main purposes of the Core Strategy section of this plan is to ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure to serve population targets for the City and that residential and employment growth are supported with the provision of water service infrastructure, including water supply and wastewater infrastructure. This is underpinned by Irish Water’s investment plans, which align with the Water Services Strategic Plan -A Plan for the Future of Water Services, 2015 (WSSP)5, that sets out strategic objectives for the delivery of water services up to 2040. The Irish Water Investment Plan 2020 to 2024 is currently being implemented.


Irish Water recently published the National Water Resources Plan (NWRP) - Draft Framework Plan6 for public consultation, which identifies a move towards achieving a sustainable, secure and reliable public drinking water supply over the next 25 years, whilst safeguarding the environment. It outlines how Irish Water intends to maintain the balance between the supply from water sources around the country and demand for drinking water over the short, medium and long-term. The next phase will be the preparation of Regional Water Resources Plans (RWRP), which will in turn inform future capital investment and operational plans. The relevant plan for Cork City will be the Southwest RWRP, which will outline the longerterm plan for the Cork City Water Resource Zone (WRZ). It is intended that each RWRP will apply the framework methodology to the regional group areas of water supplies and develop plan level preferred approaches for all water supplies within these group areas.

Source: Irish Water.


The following includes general details of water and wastewater plans and projects planned for Cork City over the coming years:
• The Cork City Water Resource Zone (WRZ) includes the Cork City Water Supply System (WSS), Cork Harbour and City WSS and Glashaboy WSS. The Cork Harbour and City Water Supply System (Inniscarra Water Treatment Plant) supplies some of the eastern, western and southern suburbs of Cork City including the towns of Ballincollig, Blarney, and Tower, while the Glashaboy Water Supply System serves Glanmire. The preferred interim and long-term interventions required to ensure a sustainable water supply in Cork City will be identified through the National Water Resources Plan process (see above).
• As part of the Cork City Water Networks Project: Phase 1 of the Eastern Strategic Link (ESL) trunk water main project was commissioned to enable connectivity across Cork City and County water networks providing security of water supply for the Central Island. Phase 2 is planned to complete the link from the east of the city through the City Centre and on to Shanakiel. A 5km Western Trunk Main linking the County Cork Harbour and City Trunk Main is planned near the N40 South Ring Road across to the Lee Road Water Treatment Plant which will ensure continuity of supply to the City. The recent completion of the interconnector from Glashaboy Reservoir to the City Centre will also ensure an adequate supply to serve the Docklands.
• The Lee Road Water Treatment Plant serving the City WSS, produced an average 41.6 million litres of drinking water daily in 2019. Treated water is pumped to reservoirs at Churchfield, Hollyhill and Shanakiel from where it gravitates through the distribution network to various users across the city. Water quality reports for recent years indicate that, despite an ageing infrastructure, the standard of water produced is generally of a very high quality. A major upgrade to the site commenced late in 2019 and is intended to be completed in 2022.
• Advanced site works for the Old Whitechurch Road, which is planned to facilitate around 600 new homes on a major Council owned landbank, have been recently completed. This includes the provision of water, foul water and surface water drainage services.
• The Carrigrenan Wastewater Treatment Plant serves the city suburbs, Little Island, Glanmire and Glounthaune areas. Upgrades to the treatment process to allow compliance with its Waste Licence and to cater for future population growth have been proposed There are separate treatment plants serving the urban towns of Ballincollig and Blarney/Tower, as well as a number of smaller treatment plants serving settlements in the city hinterland.
• Drainage Area Plans (DAPs) are being prepared by Irish Water for the Cork City wastewater network (which includes the network in Glanmire, Glounthaune and Little Island, all of which drain to Carrigrenan wastewater treatment plant), and the Ballincollig wastewater network.


Private supplies provide water to those areas not served by a public water supply. They comprise private Group Water Schemes serving local communities or private wells serving single dwelling houses. The Rural Water Programme provides funding, to improve water quality. The provision of private bored wells will generally not be permitted where public mains are available or likely to be available.


Cork City Council remains the designated authority for the assessment and approval of individual, onsite wastewater treatment systems in unsewered, rural parts of the City Council’s administrative area. The requirements for domestic systems are set out in the EPA Code of Practice for Wastewater Treatment Systems and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses (2009), to be replaced by the EPA Code of Practice for Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Population Equivalent ≤ 10)7 (2021) for site assessments and subsequent installations carried out on or after 7th June 2021 or where planning permission has been applied for before that date. The EPA Wastewater Treatment Manuals – Treatment Systems for Small Communities, Business, Leisure Centres and Hotels (1999)8 = and EPA Guidance on the Authorisation of Discharges to Groundwater (EPA 2011)9 is in place for other developments.

Surface Water and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS)


The traditional method of disposing of surface water runoff from impermeable surfaces such as roofs, roads and carparks is collection and redirection to drainage systems. This can result in localised flooding, higher waste treatment costs and the transfer of contaminants (such as oil from carparks) directly to water courses, resulting in pollution and affecting a river’s ability to recharge naturally. Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) offer a more integrated approach to rainwater management. It involves a method of replicating the natural characteristics of rainfall runoff from any site, ensuring water is infiltrated or conveyed more slowly to the drainage system and ultimately to water courses via permeable paving, swales, green roofs, rain water harvesting, detention basins, ponds and wetlands. Chapter 5 Climate and Environment includes more detail in terms of the types of SUDS that can be used to achieve these goals. Where appropriate and possible, Cork City Council will encourage the use of SUDS and will prepare guidance on how SUDS can be applied to developments over the period of the plan.

Water Quality


This section should be read in conjunction with Chapter 6 Green and Blue Infrastructure, Open Space and Biodiversity in terms of protection of aquatic habitats, the riparian corridor, river catchments and Cork Harbour. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to prevent deterioration of the status of all waters and to protect, enhance and restore them with the aim of achieving good status at a minimum. It also aims to achieve compliance with the requirements for designated protected areas. The Directive is implemented through The River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018 – 2021 (RBMP)10, published by the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government. This is the second cycle of plans produced under the WFD and sets out supporting measures to improve water quality in water bodies. The third RBMP, which will run from 2022 – 2028, is due to be published in December 2021. The core objective of the national RBMP is to protect and restore water quality to ‘good ecological status’ in our rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal waters. The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) is a local authority shared service working with the 31 local authorities, relevant State agencies, stakeholders and communities, to help meet the requirements of the WFD to have a good standard at all natural waters by 2027. The Geological Survey of Ireland’s (GSI) National Aquifer, Vulnerability and Recharge maps provide information on groundwater quality, quantity and distribution and are a useful resource in terms of monitoring groundwater.

Flood Risk


One of key outcomes of climate change and one which is of major significance to Cork City is the increased risk of flooding. Increased rainfall intensities, fluvial and pluvial floods and rising sea levels means that Cork City is particularly at risk of flooding. In terms of the need to consider flood risk as part of the plan preparation a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) has been carried out and is included as an Appendix. It is also important to note that this section needs to be read in conjunction with the Chapters 5 and 6 of this Plan. The challenge of addressing increased flooding, cannot be viewed in isolation and needs to incorporate measures to prevent or reduce flooding such as management of river catchments and provision of soft measures including SUDS and other flood management instruments. Careful consideration also needs to be given to wider environmental concerns such as the aquatic environment, built heritage and the recreational value rivers provide for urban and rural areas and the city to function as a place to live and do work.


The Office of Public Works (OPW) is the lead agency for flood risk management in Ireland and the national competent authority for the EU Floods Directive (2007/60/EC)11. This directive requires Member States to carry out preliminary flood risk assessment of their river basins and coastal areas to identify areas where potential significant flood risk exists. Member states are then required to prepare flood hazard and flood risk maps. The National Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM)12 programme commenced in 2011 and is the principle response to the Floods Directive on the assessment and management of flood risk in Ireland. The Lee Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management Study (Lee CFRAMS) was the first pilot CFRAM study under the programme and set out a range of potential flood risk management options for particular areas within the Lee catchment including the Lower Lee (Cork City). The OPW, in conjunction with Cork City Council and Cork County Council, is now planning the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme13. The scheme covers the area from Inniscarra Dam to the City Centre. The standard of protection intended to be provided by the scheme is the 1 in 100-year flood from the River Lee and the 1 in 200-year flood from the tide. The scheme is also intended to be adaptable to provide greater protection in the future in response to climate change. The scheme will include: flood defences along the River Lee downstream of Inniscarra Dam and through Cork City; changes to the operating procedures for the Carrigadrohid and Inniscarra reservoirs for the purposes of flood risk management, and a flood forecasting system to help guide decision-making on dam discharges; and, if necessary, the erection of temporary / demountable defences downstream and in Cork City.


Some other flooding projects planned or progressing for the City include:
• Morrison’s Island Public Realm Improvement and Flood Defence Scheme
• River Bride (Blackpool) Flood Relief Scheme
• Glashaboy (Glanmire) Flood Relief Scheme
• Douglas Flood Relief Scheme
• Togher Culvert Works, Service Diversions and Public Realm Enhancement


The Planning System and Flood Risk Management: Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2009)14, subsequently amended under Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Circular PL2/201415, outline how the aim of flood risk management is to minimise the level of flood risk to people, business, infrastructure and the environment through the identification and management of existing and potential future flood risks.

The Guidelines recommend a sequential approach to spatial planning, promoting avoidance rather than justification and subsequent mitigation of risk. The guidelines define the Justification Test as an assessment of whether a development proposal within an area at risk of flooding meets specific criteria for proper planning and sustainable development and demonstrates that it will not be subject to unacceptable risk nor increase flood risk elsewhere. The Justification Test should be applied only where development is within flood risk areas that would be defined as inappropriate under the screening test of the sequential riskbased approach. Cork City Council will adopt a precautionary approach, namely to avoid development in floodplains, wetlands and coastal areas prone to flooding and so preserve these natural defences that hold excess water until it can be released slowly back into river systems, the sea or seep into the ground. Where flood risk is an issue, applicants will generally be required to carry out a site specific Flood Risk Assessment (apart from minor developments, where such an approach would not be justified). Policy in relation to the incorporation of measures such as Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) to reduce surface runoff is outlined above and should be incorporated in so far as possible to reduce risks.

Waste Management


Waste management policy is based on the EU Waste Hierarchy of prevention, preparing for reuse, recycling, energy recovery and sustainable disposal. The European Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan: For a Cleaner More Competitive Europe16 was adopted in 2020, and promotes a transition towards the principles of a circular economy, facilitating the use of materials at their highest value for as long as possible and then recycling or reusing them at the end of their service life with the end result being the generation of minimal waste.


The government’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy- Ireland’s National Waste Policy 2020- 202518, endorses this approach and aims to shift the focus of waste management away from waste disposal and treatment to ensure that materials and products remain in productive use for longer. This is aimed at preventing waste and supporting reuse through a policy framework that discourages the wasting of resources and rewards circularity. In time it is aimed to replace the existing Regional Waste Management Plans with a National Waste Management Plan for a Circular Economy containing targets for: Reuse, Repair, Resource consumption and Reducing contamination levels.


Currently Cork City is part of the Southern Waste Region. The strategic vision of the Southern Region Waste Management Plan 2015 202119 is to rethink our approach to managing waste, by viewing our waste streams as valuable material resources, leading to a healthier environment and sustainable commercial opportunities for our economy. Particular emphasis is placed on preventing and designing out waste at the initial stage of any activity, thus achieving the highest level of the waste hierarchy, namely waste prevention. The Southern Region Waste Management Office has commenced the process of drafting the next Waste Management Plan. The City Council will input into the preparation of the new Waste Management Plan and endorse its objectives and outcomes.


Guidelines on design standards for waste storage facilities and management in private developments are included in Chapter 11 Placemaking and Managing Development.



Future sustainable growth and development will rely on the provision of a stable and efficient energy system. The development plan aims to facilitate the provision of energy facilities to meet the needs of the city. In order to address rising energy demand, while also addressing the challenges of climate change, significant progress is required in the deployment of renewable electricity and renewable technologies. The Government’s Climate Action Plan 201920, sets out a target to achieve a net zero carbon energy system by 2050. The aim is for at least 70% of Ireland’s electricity supply to be generated from renewables by 2030. The Climate Action Plan also states that increased levels of renewable generation will require very substantial investment in the energy infrastructure, including grid infrastructure. The promotion and development of renewable sources of energy and move away from fossil fuels as a source of energy will be encouraged.


The Council will support the future requirements of the major energy service providers such as EirGrid, the ESB and Bord Gáis Energy. In relation to Cork City, some relevant up-coming projects relating to the electricity grid include:
• The Celtic Interconnector
• The Kilbarry 110 kV Station refurbishment and Kilbarry – Knockraha 110kV Circuit Refurbishment

Renewable Energy


While Cork City’s largely urban setting limits the opportunities for large-scale renewable energy production, Cork City Council will work with stakeholders in the energy sphere including the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Atlantic Seaboard South Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) and the Southern Regional Assembly to support the deployment of renewable energy technology, improved energy efficiency and energy conservation. Cork City Council will engage with the Southern Regional Assembly and relevant stakeholders as part of the preparation of a Regional Renewable Energy Strategy (Regional Policy Objective 98 of the Regional, Spatial and Economic Strategy for the Southern Region). Cork City Council’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan 201821, and Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024 also commit Cork to the transition to a low carbon society and economy. Renewable sources offer alternatives to fossil fuels, which help reduce carbon emissions and reliance on imported fossil fuels. They can also support local economic development and employment.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Telecommunications


Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and digital connectivity is a key drivers of the social and economic development of the city. This section focuses primarily on the infrastructure required to support the delivery of an innovative and efficient ICT system. It supports the rollout of the National Broadband Plan (which aims to deliver high-speed broadband services to all businesses and households in Ireland), the enhancement of international fibre communications links and where possible the promotion of Cork as a location for ICT / Digital Society innovations.


Cork City Council recently published its first Digital Strategy: Building a Connected City A Digital Strategy for Cork City22. Its strategic vision is to make Cork the Connected City – Innovative, Inclusive, and Inspiring. It recognises that Cork is well positioned to be a leader in the growth of Ireland’s digital economy. One of its ambitions is to utilise world class interconnected infrastructure to support Cork City’s digital connectivity. The growth of cloud computing, data analytics and other data intensive services means that tier one telecommunications connectivity is a key infrastructural requirement for Cork City. Cork has high-capacity digital connectivity with the EU and USA via a tier one fibre network, which provides a direct connection from Cork to key technology and financial centres in the UK and the USA. The Cork Metropolitan Area Network supports high speed network connections across Cork’s key business zones and can deliver virtually unlimited bandwidth to the areas it serves. Additional public Wi-Fi zones facilitated by Cork City Council will help to improve the city’s digital connectivity for all. This connectivity facilitates big data, cloud, and media rich applications. Nevertheless, several areas could be improved such as mobile network coverage and high-speed broadband coverage. A new sub-sea cable is planned that will connect Cork directly to mainland Europe via France.


In 2015, Cork City Council in collaboration with Cork County Council, MTU, UCC and Tyndall National Institute established a smart city and region initiative, the Cork Smart Gateway 23 to develop and pursue a smart agenda for Cork. A smart city is one where traditional services are improved or made more efficient by the application of new innovations or digital technologies for the benefit of citizens and businesses. A Smart City goes beyond the use of ICT. It means smarter urban transport networks, upgraded water supply and waste disposal facilities and more efficient ways to light and heat buildings. It also means a more interactive and responsive city administration, safer public spaces and meeting the needs of an ageing population. The Cork Smart Gateway is part of an All-Ireland Smart Cities Forum which includes Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Belfast and Derry / Londonderry.


An efficient telecommunications system is important in the development of the economy. Cork Council will have regard to the guidelines issued by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, ‘Planning Guidelines for Telecommunications Antennae and Support Structures’ (1996) and Circular Letter PL 07/12. The assessment of individual proposals will be governed by the guidelines and the controls scheduled in the Development Management section of this plan.

Air Quality


Improving and maintaining good air quality is one of the key objectives of this development plan. It is fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the community.


National Policy Objective 64 of the National Planning Framework aims to: improve air quality and help prevent people being exposed to unacceptable levels of pollution in our urban and rural areas through integrated land use and spatial planning that supports public transport, walking and cycling as more favourable modes of transport to the private car, the promotion of energy efficient buildings and homes, heating systems with zero local emissions, green infrastructure planning and innovative design solutions 24.


While air quality is dependent on the achievement of outcomes in other policy areas such as promoting green energy and sustainable transport methods, Cork City Council is taking direct action by preparing its first Air Quality Strategy. The strategy outlines the actions that Cork City Council will undertake between 2021 and 2026 to reduce the concentrations of air pollutants in the city area, thereby positively impacting on the health and quality of life of residents and visitors to the city. It builds on significant work being conducted by Cork City Council to develop a high-quality air monitoring system and other initiatives that will significantly lower the levels of pollutants in the air in the city. The actions set out to deliver the strategy have been categorised into seven themes: Health and Well being; Air Monitoring; Travel; Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure; Regulation and Enforcement; Green Infrastructure; and Research and Innovation. The strategy will be reviewed every five years and progress on measures to improve air quality set out in this strategy will be reported annually in an Annual Air Quality Report.


RPO 130 Air Quality of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy states that it is an objective to support local data collection in the development of air quality monitoring and to investigate the merits of creating a regional air quality and greenhouse gas emissions inventory25. Cork City Council works in cooperation with UCC and the Environmental Protection Agency on projects to measure air quality in the city. There are four ‘reference level’ air monitoring stations at Heatherton Park, South Link Road, UCC Distillery Fields and Munster Technological University (MTU) that provide live, continuous air quality data and are used by the EPA for national reporting purposes. In addition, fifteen air quality sensors have been installed at locations across Cork City, intended for use as indicators of air quality and as a back-up to the data obtained from the EPA stations.

Light Pollution


It is essential that external lighting (e.g. street lighting, floodlighting) be designed to provide a safe and secure environment, while minimising the potential for light pollution or light spillage to surrounding properties. Excessive lighting can be harmful to wildlife and result in skyglow, which is the luminance of the night sky over urban areas from artificial lighting. The design of street lighting including lighting columns and other fixtures can have a significant effect on the streetscape and where new proposals for lighting require planning permission, including flood lighting for sports and recreational facilities, Cork City Council will ensure that these potential impacts are considered.

Noise Pollution


The Cork Agglomeration Noise Action Plan 2018 – 2023 was prepared in accordance with EU Directive 2002/49/EC European Communities (Environmental Noise) Regulations 2018. The Noise Action Plan is to act as a means of managing environmental noise, and to meet the aim of the European Noise Directive (END) of preventing, and reducing where necessary, environmental noise through the adoption of the action plan. Road traffic noise is the predominant source of noise within the Cork Agglomeration Area. Under the Regulations, Cork City Council and Cork County Council are designated the action planning authorities for the Cork Agglomeration area.


Cork City Council, through the planning system, will aim to minimise the adverse impacts of noise by controlling and segregating noise intensive developments from noise sensitive areas or impose conditions such as limiting the hours of operation of a proposed development where it is likely to create disturbance due to noise (See Chapter 11 ‘Placemaking and Managing Development’ for further details).

Control of Major Accident Hazards (Seveso)


Directive 2012/18/EU (Seveso III) was transposed into Irish legislation through S.I. No. 209 of 2015 Chemicals Act (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2015 , which came into effect on 1 June 2015. The purpose of the COMAH Regulations is prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances, and to seek to limit as far as possible the consequences of such accidents on human health and the environment.


One of the requirements of the COMAH Regulations is that the Health and Safety Authority shall advise the relevant planning authority of a consultation distance for a Seveso III establishment, following the receipt of a notification from the operator, and shall periodically review and update the consultation distance as necessary. The Directive provides that appropriate consultation distances must be put in place to ensure that before decisions are taken, technical advice is available to planning authorities in respect of relevant establishments. The Health and Safety Authority provides such advice, where appropriate, in respect of planning applications within a certain distance of the perimeter of these sites.


There are two categories of major accident establishments; Upper Tier and Lower Tier. These are defined based on the volume of the dangerous substances present. There are currently 6 sites located within the Cork City Council administrative area:

Upper Tier




Calor Teoranta, Tivoli, Cork

Flogas Ireland Ltd., Tivoli Industrial Estate, Cork

Grassland Agro, Carrigrohane Road, Cork

Lower Tier




Chemical Bulk Storage Ltd., Tivoli Industrial Estate, Cork

Goulding Chemicals Ltd., Centre Park Road, Cork

Irish Oxygen Co. Ltd., Waterfall Road, Cork


Seveso III sites represent a significant constraint to realising the full development potential of the city, particularly with respect to Docklands and Tivoli. Their relocation to suitable locations outside the city is desirable.


Environmental Infrastructure Development Objectives

To ensure the efficient and sustainable use of water services infrastructure.  To enhance water quality and water resource management. To sustainably manage waste generation and treatment.  To support circular economy principles. To improve air quality and levels of pollution in the urban and hinterland areas of Cork City. To promote the pro-active management of noise.  To support the investment and delivery of environmental infrastructure to serve the compact growth of Cork City, including water and waste water services, digital infrastructure, renewable energy and environmental improvements.

Proposals for new development in Cork City will not be permitted where they would have an unacceptable detrimental impact on water resources or infrastructure, water quality or air quality, have inadequate waste management mitigation, generate excessive noise or otherwise have an unacceptable detrimental impact on the environmental infrastructure of Cork City.

Objective 9.1


Objective 9.2

Irish Water

a. To work with Irish Water to ensure the efficient and sustainable use and development of water resources and water services infrastructure in the City.
b. To work with Irish Water to identify and facilitate the timely delivery of water and wastewater projects in order to facilitate development in accordance with the Core Strategy.
c. To work with Irish Water in promoting water conservation and demand management measures among users and support the implementation of measures such as leakage reduction and network improvements.
d. To support Irish Water in the development and implementation of the National Water Resources Plan and Drinking Water Safety Plans.
e. To support Irish Water in the promotion of effective management of trade discharges to sewers in order to maximise the capacity of existing sewer networks and minimise detrimental impacts on sewage treatment works.


Waste Water

a. To require all new proposals for development to provide a separate foul and surface water drainage system and to incorporate Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in so far as practical.
b. As part of new proposals for development, evidence of consultation with Irish Water should be submitted as part of a planning application, demonstrating that adequate water services are available to service the development and that existing water services will not be negatively impacted.


Objective 9.3


Objective 9.4

Group Water Schemes,
Private Wells and
Individual Treatment

a. To require that all developments where public watermains are available or likely to be available and have sufficient capacity, shall connect to them.
b. To ensure that all new developments connect to the public wastewater infrastructure, where available, and to encourage existing developments that are in close proximity to a public sewer to connect to that sewer, subject to a connection agreement with Irish Water.
c. To discourage the provision of single house septic tanks and treatment plants to minimise the risk of groundwater pollution in line with the rural housing policy of this Plan. Where such facilities are permitted, full compliance with the prevailing regulations and standards, including the EPA’s Code of Practice Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Systems Serving Single Houses (PE. ≤10) (EPA 2009), and its replacement the EPA Code of Practice for Domestic Wastewater Treatment Systems (Population Equivalent ≤ 10) (2021), will be required.
d. Residential development that requires the provision of private wastewater treatment facilities (i.e. Developer Provided Infrastructure), other than single house systems will generally not be permitted.
e. To ensure that private wastewater treatment facilities, where permitted, are operated in compliance with their wastewater discharge license, in order to protect water quality.


Sustainable Urban
Drainage Systems

a. To require that all planning applications for new development incorporate Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) in so far as possible. Such proposals shall be accompanied by a comprehensive SUDS assessment including run-off quantity, run off quality and impacts on habitat and water quality.
b. To encourage the provision of green roofs and green walls as an integrated part of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and which provide benefits for biodiversity, wherever feasible.
c. To investigate the feasibility of preparing Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) guidelines for Cork City during the lifetime of the plan.


Objective 9.5


Objective 9.6


a. To ensure that onsite petrol / oil interceptors and silt traps shall be installed to all significant road projects / upgrades or for proposals where surface water otherwise discharges to watercourses, to prevent hydrocarbon pollution of the receiving waters.
b. To ensure that developments permitted by the Council which involve discharge of wastewater to surface waters or groundwaters, comply with the requirements of the EU Environmental Objectives (Surface Waters) Regulations and EU Environmental Objectives (Groundwater) Regulations.


Storm Water

To provide adequate storm water infrastructure in order to accommodate the planned levels of growth within the plan area and to ensure that appropriate flood management measures are implemented to protect property and infrastructure.


Objective 9.7


Objective 9.8

Water Quality

a. To ensure the delivery of the relevant policies and objectives of The River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018 – 2021 and any subsequent plan, including those relating to protection of water status, improvement of water status, prevention of deterioration and meeting objectives for designated protected sites.
b. To support Irish Water in its implementation of Water Quality Management Plans for ground, surface, coastal and estuarine waters as part of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and in the development of Drinking Water Protection Plans.
c. To support the provision of mitigation and protection measures for all protected areas, including Drinking Water Protected Areas and associated Source Protection Plans in line with the Water Framework Directives and River Basin Management Plans.
d. To have cognisance of, where relevant, the EU’s Common Implementation Strategy Guidance Documents No. 20 and 36 which provide guidance on exemptions to the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive.


Flood Protection

To protect, enhance and manage the City’s floodplains, wetlands and coastal habitat areas that are subject to flooding as vital ‘green infrastructure’ which provides space for storage and conveyance of floodwater, enabling flood risk to be more effectively managed and reduce the need to provide flood defence infrastructures. Cork Council will also require that all proposed flood protection or alleviation works will be subject to Appropriate Assessment to ensure there are no likely significant effects on the integrity, defined by the structure and function, of any European Sites and that the requirements of Article 6 of the EU Habitats Directive are met.


Objective 9.9


Objective 9.10

Flood Protection

To work with the Office of Public Works (OPW) in the progression and completion of Flood Risk Management Plans and flood relief schemes including the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme (LLFRS), schemes in Blackpool, Glanmire / Glashaboy, Douglas / Togher and other schemes that may be developed during the period of the plan.


Development in Flood Risk Areas

a. To restrict development in identified flood risk areas, in particular flood plains. All new development proposals should comply with the requirements of the Planning System and Flood Risk Management –Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2009) and Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Circular PL2/2014, in particular through the application of the sequential approach and the Development Management Justification Test.
b. All significant proposals for development identified as being vulnerable to flooding will be required to provide a site specific Flood Risk Assessment to identify potential loss of floodplain storage and proposals for the storage or attenuation (e.g. SUDS) of run off discharges (including foul drains) to ensure development does not increase the flood risk in the relevant catchment. c. Adopt a river catchment approach to rivers entering the City, practicing natural flood management wherever practical and appropriate.


Objective 9.11


Objective 9.12

Waste Management

a. To support the sustainable management of waste in line with the objectives of the Southern Region Waste Management Plan 2015-2021 and its successor.
b. To facilitate the transition to a circular economy facilitating the value recovery and recirculation of resources in order to generate minimal waste.



To support a safe, secure and reliable supply of energy in association with the appropriate service providers including EirGrid, the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) and Bord Gáis Energy. It is also aimed to facilitate expansion in order to ensure satisfactory levels of supply (subject to appropriate environmental assessment and the planning process) and support the safeguarding of strategic energy corridors from encroachment by other developments that could compromise the delivery of energy networks.


Objective 9.13


Objective 9.14

of Cables

The Council will encourage the undergrounding of cables and associated equipment where feasible and generally require such services be located underground as part of new developments. Proposals should demonstrate that environmental impacts including the following are minimised:
• Habitat loss as a result of removal of field boundaries and hedgerows (right of way preparation) followed by topsoil stripping (to ensure machinery does not destroy soil structure and drainage properties);
• Short to medium term impacts on the landscape where, for example, hedgerows are encountered;
• Impacts on underground archaeology;
• Impacts on soil structure and drainage; and
• Impacts on surface waters as a result of sedimentation.


Renewable Energy

To promote the increased use of renewable energy resources in Cork City such as solar, wind, geothermal, heat pumps and district heating.


Objective 9.15


Objective 9.16

Digital Strategy

To support the implementation of the Digital Strategy for the City and work with the Southern Regional Assembly and other stakeholders to seek investment in the delivery of accessible and improved high speed, high capacity digital infrastructure and rollout of the National Broadband Plan.


Cork Smart Gateway

To support the initiatives of the Cork Smart Gateway to enable a better quality of life, greener and more innovative and smarter city.


Objective 9.17


Objective 9.18

Air Quality

a. To protect and improve air quality in Cork City in accordance with the provisions of EU Directives and national legislation on air pollution and support the actions of the City Council’s Air Quality Strategy 2021 2026, when it is finalised and its successors.
b. To continue to monitor air quality results submitted from selected locations throughout the City in co-operation with the Environmental Protection Agency and support the creation of a regional air quality and greenhouse gas emissions inventory.


External Lighting

To require that external lighting proposals minimise the harmful effects of light pollution, are energy efficient, and do not have an excessive impact on residential or visual amenity, biodiversity or result in the distraction of road users.


Objective 9.19


Objective 9.20


To support the implementation of the objectives of The Cork Agglomeration Noise Action Plan 2018 – 2023 and promote the pro-active management of noise where it is likely to have significant adverse impacts on health and quality of life.



a. Assessment of Development in Vicinity of Seveso III Sites: Land use proposals for development within the vicinity of sites identified under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Directive and any regulations, under any enactment, giving effect to that Directive, will be assessed having regard to technical guidance provided by the Health and Safety Authority.
b. Relocation of Seveso III Sites: Cork City Council will actively seek the relocation of Seveso III facilities / activities to suitable alternative sites outside the City.





Provision of public street bins for general waste and dog waste.
There are currently very few public street bins in the Farranree area posing obvious litter/dumping, public health and safety problems. There is also no provision of dog waste bins posing the...
Objective 9.13 - Undergrounding of Cables - A Flexible Approach
Please see attached document.
Submission on behalf of Irish Water
Submission to the Draft CDP from Irish Water
Strategic Objectives 8: Environmental Infrastructure
The protection of the environment, measures to tackle pollution, improve air quality and the installation of good quality infrastructure are all vital components of a thriving city. The objectives in...
Recommendation to include reference to 'Waste Management Infrastructure - Guidance for Siting Waste Management Facilities'
The upcoming National Waste Management Plan for a Circular Economy (NWMPCE), which is likely to be made in early 2022, will replace the Southern Region Waste Management Plan 2015-2021 and the...