Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (264)

Michael McCarthy

Question:

264. Deputy Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding the provision of a flood relief scheme in respect of an area (details supplied) in County Cork; the progress that has been made to date, particularly in light of recent flooding; if he will provide a prospective timeline on when he expects work on the flood relief scheme to get under way; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5283/14]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

A Flood Relief Scheme for the town of Skibbereen is being advanced by Cork County Council in partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW), which is providing the funding. The development and progression of the scheme is being overseen by a Steering Committee with representatives of the Council, the OPW and RPS, the engineering consultants for the scheme.

A Public Exhibition of the preferred scheme proposals took place in April/May 2013 and lasted for four weeks. The main proposals of the scheme include the construction of new walls and embankments along the River Ilen and some of its tributaries in the Town, new pumping stations, localised channel re-grading and improvements to the local drainage system.

Approximately sixty submissions were received from members of the public on the proposed scheme during the Exhibition. Some of these submissions dealt with the levels of protection to be provided in certain areas, based on past experiences of local people. The consultants carried out further surveys and analyses to address the matters raised at the Exhibition.

These surveys have now been completed and some changes have been made to the proposed scheme. An Exhibition Report, which will deal in depth with all the issues raised by each submission is currently being finalised and responses to all parties who made submissions will be issued shortly. The recent flood events, although very unfortunate for the town, have provided data which should bring some additional certainty regarding the robustness of the proposed scheme.

The detailed design work is currently underway and it is hoped to complete it and the process of procuring a civil works contractor around mid-2014. This would allow construction to commence towards the end of 2014 subject to the scheme receiving the necessary statutory approval. The OPW has made provision for the scheme works in its multi-annual expenditure profiles but such funding will be subject to review depending on actual budget allocations.