Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (100)

Jonathan O'Brien


100. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the lower Lee flood relief scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39594/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that the detailed design of the Lower Lee (Cork city) flood relief scheme is being finalised and the relevant documentation, including the Environmental Impact Assessment Report, is being prepared in preparation for submission of the scheme to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for Ministerial Confirmation under the provisions of the Arterial Drainage Acts.

The proposed Scheme is the result of over thirteen years of careful consideration and study of the Lee Catchment and the nature of flooding affecting Cork. Benchmarked against best international practice, the proposed Scheme’s multifaceted approach takes account of the complexity of flooding in Cork which is both tidal and fluvial (river).

Flooding in 2009 and 2014 resulted in a reported €140 million of damage in Cork and caused severe stress to the residents and business owners in the city.

The proposed scheme will provide protection to over 900 homes and 1200 business properties in the City. It will also facilitate significant public realm improvements in the city centre area, making it more attractive to live and work in and to visit. These improvements which include walkways and cycle ways will encourage a switch from cars to other more environmentally friendly transport modalities and should act as a catalyst for investment and development in the city.

The Office of Public Works has recently published further details and images of the proposals and it is hoped that these will assuage some misunderstanding about the Scheme and also challenge significant misrepresentation of it as well. The various public consultation phases of the project have been very helpful in informing the design of the Scheme. While the Scheme cannot deviate from the comprehensive scientific and empirical analysis on which it is based, it has taken into account many of the suggestions made during the public consultation stages. As further details and images are completed they will be put into the public domain, which will allow the public to see the overall picture of the scheme.