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More Public Consultation Needed on Arklow Flood Relief Scheme – Matthews

Deputy Steven Matthews, Green Party TD for Wicklow, has asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath TD, for an update regarding the proposed flood defenses for Arklow.

The Arklow Flood Relief Scheme was granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála in July. The project includes plans to deepen the river and to construct flood walls, glass panelling and an embankment to reduce the risk of damage to property caused by flooding. Wicklow County Council and the Office of Public Works (OPW) will deliver the scheme.

Discussing the importance of having public engagement on the proposed works, Deputy Matthews said:

“I welcome the Flood Relief Scheme and the benefits that it will bring to Arklow. Improved flood defences are needed to protect the 637 homes and 141 businesses in Arklow town from extreme weather events that are now more frequent and severe due to climate change.

“I was glad to be able to make a submission on the proposed design and put emphasis on the importance of public areas, seating, green space and the glass panelling being well designed and unintrusive. In any flood relief plan, the measures implemented should protect the public from the potential negative impact of the river but should never break the town’s connection to the river.

“I welcome the confirmation that a dedicated Project Team with a community liaison officer will be established to oversee public engagement on the flood defence scheme which was another key aspect of my submission. Wicklow County Council will also develop a communications strategy which will include the launch of a website to enable members of the public to contribute their views on the proposed works and contact the Project Team.

“I recently submitted a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform asking for an update on the Flood Relief Scheme and the Department’s commitment to having open public engagement on the proposed works. Wicklow County Council is in the process of drafting consultancy briefs to bring the scheme to the next stage and plans to appoint detailed design consultants in 2023.

“Proper consultation on the design of the scheme is incredibly important for addressing the concerns raised by members of the local community in Arklow and for advancing the aims of the project. I will continue to work with Wicklow County Council to ensure that the voice of residents is heard at every stage of the process. If anyone has any questions about the Arklow Flood Relief Scheme, please get in touch directly and I will offer any support I can”, Deputy Matthews concluded.



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