Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Flood Relief Schemes
I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that the Ballyvourney and Ballymakeera Flood Relief scheme is currently at the latter stages of outline design and the preferred option for the scheme is close to being finalised. The OPW and Cork County Council are continuing to engage proactively and a further meeting is expected for June 2020 to discuss details to bring this scheme forward to Public Exhibition.
My Office has engaged engineering consultants to finalise scheme drawings for the preferred option, and extensive face-to-face consultation has taken place between OPW engineers, member of the public and local stakeholders, with draft exhibition drawings and schedules currently being prepared.
Environmental surveys have been completed, with a view to completing the Environmental Impact Assessment shortly. The OPW is aware of the ‘high’ water quality status of the respective water body in the area around Ballyvourney and Ballymakeera. The Project Team is currently assessing the potential impact of any proposed flood relief measures in that respect, and engaging with the Project’s Environmental Consultants in order to ensure that suitable mitigation requirements are implemented, and appropriate processes to comply with statutory provisions are followed. This is obviously an important consideration, and resolving some outstanding issues is taking longer than had previously been envisaged. Nonetheless, it is hoped that the scheme can progress to Public Exhibition within the coming months.
When these stages are successfully completed and, provided the proposals are broadly accepted at Public Exhibition by the public and the stakeholders, the scheme will proceed to detailed design stage and formal Confirmation by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under the Arterial Drainage Acts 1945 and 1995, following which construction can commence.
My Office continues to liaise with Cork County Council and local representatives and are very committed to progressing this Scheme.
In the interim, Cork County Council has been approved funding under the OPW’s Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme; this includes approval of €10,000 in February 2012 for the removal of overhanging growth and other obstacles to the Sullane River 3.4 miles from Ballvourney bridge and an additional €187,248 approved in October 2018 for the provision of temporary flood defence measures.