23 November 2015, 4.30pm
By Bryan T. Smyth
The Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, today (Monday 23 November) encouraged members of the public to visit Blackpool Community Centre in Cork for the Public Information Days on the Blackpool (River Bride) Flood Relief Scheme. These Public Information Days will take place on 24th November, and 3rd, 10th and 21st December 2015.
The formal title of the scheme is the River Bride (Blackpool) Certified Drainage Scheme and this scheme was developed as part of the brief for the Lower Lee (Cork City) Flood Relief Scheme but is being advanced separately as a scheme in its own right. The scheme will consist mainly of new embankments, new walls, new culverts, infilling of some open channels and replacement of some bridges.
Speaking ahead of the official launch of the statutory public exhibition, Minister Simon Harris TD (Fine Gael) said
“Blackpool has suffered considerable flooding over the years and my Office, the Office of Public Works has been working directly with its partners, Cork City and County Councils to develop proposals to alleviate the problem for the city as a whole. Today is a very important stage in the progression of this project for Blackpool. As the scheme will be protecting 285 properties of which 206 are residential, I want to assure all that my Office will try and balance technical requirements with the interests and expectations of everyone. My Office and both Councils recognise that local knowledge can make a valuable contribution to fine-tuning scheme proposals and these Public Information Days will give everyone an opportunity to look at the designs and provide feedback. Members of the Project Design and Environmental Teams will be also there both days to answer any questions and the deadline for submissions is 2 February 2016”.
Following on from this exhibition stage, the detailed design phase will commence and the proposed scheme will be submitted to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for formal approval, as required under the Arterial Drainage Acts. The Minister is then required to carry out an independent review of the Environment Impact Statement. Subject to no major obstacles during these phases, it is hoped to commence work on the Scheme in the second half of 2016.