Councillors must know exactly where the floodplains in Galway city and its surrounding areas are so that homes being built are not at risk from future floods.
This is the view of Independent councillor Terry O’Flaherty, who is calling on the Galway City Council to provide councillors with maps outlining where flood plains and turloughs are situated within the city boundaries.
She said it is important for councillors to be well informed on this as they prepare the Draft Galway City Development Plan 2011 - 2017 and because individuals and developers will be seeking to get some land banks and sites rezoned.
It is imperative that due consideration should be given by the councillors when making a decision in those areas where there is a risk of flooding in the future,” Cllr O’Flaherty said. “The decisions that we make in the development plan will impact on future planning.”
Cllr O’Flaherty’s call will have gained added strength this week as the Department of the Environment has published the Statutory Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines.
The guidelines aim to incorporate flood risk assessment and management into the planning system. It also seeks to provide guidance on flood risk in preparing future regional plans, development plans, and local area plans, and in determining applications for planning permission in line with the principles of proper planning and sustainable development.
The guidelines call for the avoidance of development in areas at risk of flooding, particularly in floodplains, unless it is demonstrable that flood risk can be reduced or managed to an acceptable level without increasing flood risk elsewhere. It also seeks to incorporate flood risk assessment into the process of making decisions on planning applications and planning appeals.