Dáil Éireann - Volume 597 - 09 February, 2005
Written Answers - Planning Issues.
Mr. Kehoe Mr. Kehoe
72. Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether his Department should implement a ban on construction on floodplains; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3986/05]
Mr. Roche Mr. Roche
Mr. Roche: Decisions as to whether proposed development should be permitted or restricted in any particular area are a matter for the relevant planning authority in the first instance and for An Bord Pleanála in the event of an appeal. The Planning and Development Act 2000 specifically empowers planning authorities to provide in their development plans that development in areas at risk of flooding may be regulated, restricted or controlled. Where development is proposed in an area at risk of flooding, such risk can be carefully evaluated by the planning authority and planning permission refused, where appropriate, or, if granted, can be made subject to conditions requiring the implementation of measures necessary to alleviate or avoid damage due to flooding.
I do not consider that a ban on construction on flood plains, per se, would be appropriate. However, it is my intention to publish shortly, in draft form for public consultation, guidelines for planning authorities on the preparation of development plans. These guidelines will suggest that in addressing the issue of flooding, development plans should identify the main river catch ments and coastal areas that experience or are at risk from flooding. Policies should then outline the considerations that will arise regarding development within such catchments and coastal areas from the point of view of managing existing flood risks or avoiding the generation of new flood risks.
The guidelines will also suggest that development plan policies dealing with flooding also need to recognise the uncertainties inherent in the prediction of flooding and the fact that flood risk is expected to increase as a result of climate change. Development plan objectives could also include policies indicating that developers will be required to support the funding of flood defences needed for particular developments, either partially or fully, depending on the circumstances involved.
My Department will welcome comments or suggestions on this or any other aspect of the draft guidelines following their publication.
Dáil Éireann 597 Written Answers Planning Issues.