Thursday, 25 February 2021
Department of Finance
81. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to the serious coastal erosion at North Beach, Arklow, County Wicklow; the studies or reports that have been carried out by the Office of Public Works on the issue; and if funding will be made available to address same. [10626/21]
I am advised that Irish Rail, in partnership with Wicklow County Council, commissioned consultants to undertake the East Coast Erosion Study, which included an assessment at North Beach in Arklow. While the OPW was consulted on the technical assessment methodology in respect of this work, my Office is not in receipt of the most current study report which I understand is now complete.
It is a matter for Local Authorities in the first instance to assess and address problems of coastal erosion in their areas. Where necessary, Local Authorities may put forward proposals to relevant central Government Departments, including the Office of Public Works, for funding of appropriate measures depending on the infrastructure or assets under threat.
There is no application on hand for the location mentioned in the Deputy’s question. Under the OPW Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme, applications are 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.