Wednesday, 9 September 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
140. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will give urgent consideration to a national buy-out scheme for families whose family homes are in imminent danger of destruction due to coastal erosion and flooding in order that families can be rehoused and compensated for the loss of their family homes; if local authorities have the power to put in place immediate local buy-out schemes for families in such circumstances pending a national scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22984/20]
Matters relating specifically to the funding of flood response schemes are the responsibility of the Office of Public Works (OPW). I understand that there is currently no ‘buy-out’ scheme in place with regard to property at risk from coastal erosion.
Further to a decision of Government, my Department is working with the OPW to examine and address matters of coastal erosion through the National Coastal Change Management Strategy Steering Group, which met for the first time last week.
The group is tasked with the preparation of a scoping report relating to coastal change, and will report to Government within six months, with initial findings and recommendations. The work of the group will build upon preliminary risk analysis by the OPW, existing climate adaptation plans, the National Planning Framework and the draft National Marine Planning Framework, to provide a framework for key decisions to be taken on how Ireland could best manage its coastline in light of the future risks from rising sea levels and more frequent extreme sea level events and coastal erosion.
Coming from a constituency affected by the coastal erosion issue, I am very aware of the potential impacts and urgency of the situation faced by residents of coastal areas, and I look forward to working with the Group and progressing its findings through Government.