Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Minor Works Scheme
Local flooding issues are a matter, in the first instance, for each Local Authority to investigate and address. All Local Authorities may carry out flood mitigation works, using either their own resources, or by applying for funding under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme.
The OPW introduced the ‘Minor Works’ Scheme in 2009 on an administrative, non-statutory basis. The purpose of the scheme is to provide funding to Local Authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies to address localised fluvial flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas. The scheme generally applies where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame. The works to be funded are carried out under Local Authority powers and ongoing maintenance of the completed works is the responsibility of the Council.
In 2016-2017, the OPW undertook a review of the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme, and the final report was completed in mid-2017. This introduced a number of updates, including:
- Revised ‘benefit’ allowances for: Homes at risk from flooding; Homes and commercial premises that have been flooded; Agricultural land flooded; Road Diversions/Road Closure Costs, etc;
- New ‘benefit’ allowances for commercial premises and farm yards/buildings at risk of flooding;
- Revised Benefit-to-Cost Ratio (BCR) criteria (Minimum of 1.35:1 for works costing up to €250,000; and a Minimum of 1.5:1 for works from € 250,000 - €750,000);
- A revised application threshold/funding limit of EUR750,000 (increased from EUR500,000) with a 10% contribution by local authority.
Under this scheme, therefore, applications are now considered for projects that are estimated to cost not more than €750,000 in each instance. Funding of up to 90% of the cost is available for approved projects. Applications are assessed by the OPW having regard to the specific economic, social and environmental criteria of the scheme, including a cost benefit ratio and having regard to the availability of funding for flood risk management. Full details of this scheme are available on www.opw.ie
To the end of 2019, over 580 Minor Works projects have been completed, providing local flooding solutions to over 7,100 properties with expenditure amounting to over €39m since the scheme began in 2009. In 2019, €4.75m has been approved for 49 projects, with €4.4m having been drawn down by Local Authorities by the end of the year.
The allocation of funding for the Minor Works scheme is included in the overall allocation for flood risk management investment included under Vote 13 (Office of Public Works) in the Estimates for Public Services for 2020.
Full information on the scheme is available at: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/0e3b3d-minor-flood-mitigation-works-and-coastal-protection-scheme/.