Wednesday, 3 March 2021
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Flood Prevention Measures
247. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 191 and 192 of 17 February 2021, if the Office of Public Works will open consultation or hold an online briefing with residents affected by the construction of new flood defences in locations (details supplied) in County Westmeath; if the areas are included in the flood cells outlined in response to the previous questions highlighted; and the timeline for completion of the flood defence projects designed to protect the properties. [11768/21]
The Athlone Flood Alleviation Scheme is being led by Westmeath County Council with funding from the Office of Public Works (OPW).
Building on the option development work of the Shannon CFRAM (Catchment-based Flood Risk Assessment & Management) Study, Westmeath County Council appointed Engineering Consultants in April 2017, to progress appropriate flood risk alleviation measures for Athlone. Following detailed option development, eight discrete cells of flood defence works were identified and six of these were progressed individually through Part 8 Planning by the Council. One cell did not require Planning approval, as the works were minor in nature, and one cell remains to be progressed to Part 10 Planning stage.
Construction of the Scheme is progressing well, despite Covid-19 restrictions and effects, and notwithstanding the high water levels that have hampered progress to some extent. The areas referred to in the Question are part of Flood Cells 1 and 2, as referenced in my reply to Parliamentary Question Nos. 191 and 192 of 17 February 2021. The current anticipated timeline for completion of these areas is Quarter 2, 2022 but the timeline is somewhat tentative, given the current Covid-19 situation and the continuing high water levels.
|The Park, Parnell Square, Canal Walk, Canal Bank||FC1 – Deerpark||Q2 2022|
|Friary Lane, Wolfe Tone Terrace, Griffin Street||FC2 – The Strand||Q2 2022|
The specific areas referred to in the Question were part of Flood cells No.1 and No.2, which were advanced by the Council through the Part 8 planning process. These were all publicly advertised and it was open to the public to make submissions. Any specific interaction with interested parties during the construction phase of the scheme falls within the remit of Westmeath County Council.
248. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the catchment and flood risk management plan under CFRAM for County Louth; the progress on the implementation of same that has been made to date; the funding that has been allocated to the scheme to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11811/21]
Through the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, detailed engineering analysis, assessment and extensive public consultation was undertaken for 300 communities throughout Ireland, including 90 coastal areas, which in 2012 were identified as being most likely to be impacted by future coastal and fluvial flooding.
One key output of the CFRAM Programme were the Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMP’s) that contain proposed flood relief measures - informed by costs, benefits and environmental factors - to address the flood risk in each community and nationwide.
The evidence provided by the CFRAM Programme, launched in May 2018, supports the Government’s €1bn planned investment in flood relief through the National Development Plan 2018-2027 as part of Project 2040.
As part of this, Louth County Council, working with the Office of Public Works, has agreed to be the Lead Authority in the delivery of flood relief schemes at Dundalk / Blackrock South, Drogheda, Carlingford / Greenore, Baltray and Ardee, all of which are in the first tranche of projects being progressed.
- The proposed flood relief scheme at Dundalk / Blackrock South, includes the Ardee Flood Relief Scheme and will protect some 1,880 properties when completed.
- The proposed flood relief scheme at Drogheda and Baltray, will protect some 450 properties when completed.
- The proposed flood relief scheme at Carlingford and Greenore will protect some 409 properties when completed.
While the CFRAM process investigated possible structural flood relief measures for both Annagassan and Termonfeckin, economically viable schemes for these communities were not identified, and so a review of the risk in these communities and the likely costs and benefits is to be undertaken. The Office of Public Works has put in place a process for undertaking such reviews, and it is envisaged that these reviews, including those for Annagassan and Termonfeckin, will be complete within the next 12 months.
The tender for Engineering Consultancy Services was awarded in 2020 to Binnies (formerly Black and Veatch) and Nicholas O ‘Dwyer (Joint Venture) for the Dundalk/Blackrock South and Ardee projects that are being progressed simultaneously. The preliminary cost estimate for these projects is €80.9 million. The tender brief for Drogheda and Baltray, also being progressed simultaneously, has been finalised and advertised with tenders due back on 25th March 2021. The tender brief for the Carlingford and Greenore scheme will begin in the coming months.
Once consultants are appointed to progress each scheme, consultation with statutory and non-statutory bodies, as well as the general public, will take place at the appropriate stages to ensure that all parties have the opportunity to input into the development of the proposals within the scheme.