Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
135. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the progress to date on the pilot individual property flood protection scheme; the conclusions drawn from the Graiguenamanagh and Crossmolina pilots; when it is planned to make a submission to Government on a scheme to support individual property protection measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3095/20]
In regard to Graiguenamanagh, in May, 2015 at the request of Kilkenny County Council, the Office of Public Works approved funding for the appointment of consultants to undertake a study on the feasibility of implementing Individual Property Protection (IPP) resources in Graiguenamanagh/Thomastown, and how best to organise and implement such a scheme.
The pilot study included a detailed building survey to identify all potential flow paths through the affected properties and the type of foundation and floors in affected properties along with other factors which may affect the viability of any proposed measures. In July, 2018 Kilkenny County Council took the decision not to proceed with the IPP scheme for Graiguenamanagh/Thomastown, due to the limitations and risks involved with IPP, and instead adopted the recommendations of the Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) for the Suir, Nore and Barrow River Basins for permanent schemes, including one such scheme in Graiguenamanagh.
Kilkenny County Council is leading on the implementation of all flood relief schemes through planning, tender and construction.A tender issued for engineering and environmental consultants to progress the Graiguenamanagh scheme on the 11th September, 2019 and a preferred tenderer has been identified.
In regard to Crossmolina, in 2016 the OPW appointed consultants to undertake a survey of individual properties in Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, in order to determine their suitability for floodgates as part of a pilot, and to make recommendations for each property. Mayo County Council subsequently procured a contractor to supply and install the floodgates based on the recommendations of the consultants. Gates have now been installed in approximately 100 properties in the town, at a cost of approximately €350,000. The flood gates that have been installed have been integrated into local flood action emergency plan and will be put in place when flood alerts are notified.
The consultants are preparing a report for the above IPP project which will assess the different aspects of the scheme from design through implementation, cost and operation. However, the effectiveness of the scheme as a whole cannot be fully assessed until the gates are put to use and tested in a real time flood event.
National Scheme for IPP
The Government’s 10 year programme of investment in flood relief schemes together with those in existence and underway aim to protect 95% of properties assessed under the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) study as being at risk of flooding.
The OPW is undertaking a study of IPP to look at the potential for a national scheme to protect a proportion of those properties that do not form part of the FRMPs arising from the CFRAM study.
This study is examining the administrative arrangements for IPP schemes where they exist in other jurisdictions including Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. It is also considering work undertaken for two pilot schemes in Crossmolina.
The study is highlighting the many interdependencies to ensure the effectiveness of IPP measures. Hence the introduction of financial support to incentivise individuals to acquire IPP products for their homes needs broader consideration in the context of these findings. The OPW is continuing to explore options for IPP having regard to the results of this study.