DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Deputy Simon Harris
by Deputy Anthony Lawlor
for WRITTEN ANSWER on Wednesday, 13th January, 2016.
* To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the Morrell River Flood Relief Scheme; when he expects the Office of Public Works to proceed with the project, given that it has received the Options Report and Cost Benefit Analysis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Anthony Lawlor TD
Kildare County Council (KCC), in consultation with the Office of Public Works (OPW), engaged Consulting Engineers to carry out a Full Feasibility Study, Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA), and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Lower Morrell River and the surrounding River Catchment in an effort to resolve the outstanding localised flooding issues in the Straffan area. A Steering Group which comprises representatives of KCC, OPW and the consultants, was set up to advance the project.

KCC and their consultants submitted a Draft Options Report /Feasibility Study to OPW outlining possible flood relief measures for the Lower Morrell River Catchment in 2014. Following consideration of the draft report by the OPW, it was agreed by the Steering Group that the consultants would carry out a more detailed review of the proposed scheme with further analysis of the various options considered to assess the benefits of the current works proposals as they have evolved. The review would also investigate if there are additional or alternative and more cost effective measures that can be put in place to alleviate flooding in the area. Any changes identified by the review process would need to be incorporated into the Cost Benefit Analysis and Environmental Impact Statement before the scheme can be advanced.

I am advised that the consultants have completed the review process and KCC has submitted their findings to the OPW for consideration. The OPW and KCC will meet later this month with a view to finalising the Feasibility Report. Once the Feasibility Report has been finalised, and provided the scheme is still economically and environmentally viable, KCC and the OPW will decide on how best to advance the proposed works. The OPW has included provision for the cost of the proposed works in its financial profiles in the period up to 2018.