Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (554)

Eamon Scanlon


554. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to introduce a land drainage scheme on a pilot basis for County Leitrim to assist persons who have suffered undue hardship due to flooding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9724/18]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

The budget for the Targeted Agriculture Modernisation scheme (TAMS) is fully committed under our Rural Development programme. Support for land drainage is not included as an eligible item in the current programme.

It must also be recognised that any such measure would require full compliance with environmental requirements including the need for a full Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the entirety of County Leitrim and Appropriate Assessments for any potentially affected Natura Areas. Environmental requirements in any potential measure would be significant as would the challenge of securing European Commission approval. 

However, I would like to draw your attention to the Office of Public Works Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection funding scheme which is in place since 2009, specifically aimed at addressing the issue of minor flood protection interventions. A review of the scheme was conducted in 2017 and a number of improvements to the scheme were announced. Amongst these are the provisions that farm yards/buildings are included as commercial premises in all categories for the first time. The upper financial threshold was also increased significantly from €500,000 to €750,000 per project. More details of the scheme are available from the offices of the OPW.