Written Answers. - Coastal Erosion.

David Stanton

Question:

70 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if a compensation scheme exists to enable landowners and farmers to be assisted in the event of losing land or property due to coastal erosion; his plans to combat coastal erosion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10865/03]

Primary responsibility for coast protection works rests with the property owner, be that a private individual or a local authority. There is no compensation or grant scheme available to enable landowners and farmers to be compensated in the event of losing land or property from coastal erosion.

The National Development Plan 2000-2006 provides a total of €52.01 million for coast protection works. This funding will address, through prioritised multi-annual programmes, the most urgent and serious instances of coastal erosion around the coastline. Local authorities have an important role to play in responding effectively to coastal erosion within their jurisdiction. In 2002 my Department wrote to all coastal local authorities inviting proposals for consideration in the 2003-2006 period. A total of 195 proposals with an estimated total cost of €120 million were submitted. I understand that a comprehensive list of these proposals was made available to the Deputy by my Department last week.
In 2003 an Exchequer contribution of €1.072 million is available for coast protection works. This funding was fully allocated in January 2003 and all relevant local authorities have been notified.
Local authorities provide 25% of the total cost of any approved projects in accordance with standard arrangements and the Exchequer provides the balance. The question of funding coast protection works in the post 2003 period will depend largely on the Exchequer allocation available and overall national priorities.