230. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has formally approved funding for the lower Morrell river flood relief scheme in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10631/17 asked on 01 Mar 2017)

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney) (Deputy Seán Canney): The Lower Morrell River flood relief scheme is being progressed by Kildare County Council (KCC) as the Contracting Authority for the scheme with funding provided by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

I am advised that KCC and its consultants are currently finalising the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and detailed design of the scheme which includes liaising with the various landowners/stakeholders who will be impacted by the proposed works. It is envisaged that the scheme will be submitted for planning approval in the first half of 2017. Funding arrangements to proceed with the scheme will be agreed by OPW and KCC in advance of the scheme being submitted for planning approval.

It is not possible to indicate when exactly works can be commenced until the scheme has been advanced through the planning process by the Council as outlined above. It is hoped that works could commence before the end of 2017 dependent on planning approval being received. I can confirm that the Lower Morrell Scheme remains a priority and the OPW has included provision for the cost of the proposed works in its financial profiles in the period up to 2020.