Written answers

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Office of Public Works Projects

Photo of Arthur SpringArthur Spring (Kerry North-West Limerick, Labour)
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251. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the types of works to rivers, streams and so on that require a section 50 application to the Office of Public Works; when the section 50 application was introduced; which public body approved such works prior to the introduction of the section 50 application; and the course of action available to a person who is of the opinion that such works, whether approved or unapproved, are adding to flooding in an area. [46448/15]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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Section 50 application was introduced through the 1945 Arterial Drainage Act and gave the Commissioners for Public Works for the first time statutory powers in relation to the construction of bridges. This Section required that no local authority, railway company, canal company, or other similar body, and no industrial concern shall construct any new bridge or alter, reconstruct, or restore any existing bridge over any watercourse without the consent of the Commissioners or otherwise than in accordance with plans previously approved of by the Commissioners. In 2010 this requirement was extended to all parties, who require to “construct any new bridge or alter, reconstruct, or restore any existing bridge” to obtain the prior consent of the Commissioners.

People with concerns in relation to a flood risk in an area, should report their concerns to the relevant Local Authority, in the first instance. If the location is in an Area of Further Assessment under OPW's CFRAM (Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management) Programme, a person may contact OPW's consultants and inform the consultants of their opinion that works are causing flooding. The consultants contact details are available on the website. Currently public consultation days on developing options to manage flood risk are underway in certain locations. Information on these locations is also available on the website.


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