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Discussion of Flood Defence Options

     
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Flood Defence Options

The flood options proposed so far can be seen on Bray Town Council's web site at http://braytowncouncil.ie/pages/posts/river-dargle-flood-defence-scheme88.php.

The OPW has emphasised that these are simply proposals so far. They are open to discussion and amendment. To facilitate that discussion, we will be glad to publish feedback/comments on this page. Please send them to swap@braywatch.com

We started with copies of feedback to the Flood Defence Study Group provided to us by their authors for publication (go to end of page), and we're adding each new comment to the top of the page as they come in.

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Howard Gibbins, Greenpark Road

I am not sure if anyone noticed but all the flood prevention proposals included a mapping of the trees in the Peoples’ Park. The majority of these were colour coded as being “Not important” or similar phrase. If it were deemed necessary to drive a new road towards the new development proposed on the golf links then these “not important” trees could all be cut down. It would seem to me that any tree over 20 years old in an urban environment is extremely important.

My own feeling to the flood prevention – or amelioration – is to lower the wall adjacent to the golf links so that the Dargle can flood over the water meadows that are currently the golf course. This keeps the flooding away from housing and replenishes the grassland with fresh silt making it more fertile – and has the over benefit of flooding outlets of “Next”, “Top Shop”, “Boots” etc….

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Adrian McKenna, Adelaide Villas, Dargle Road

It is clear to me that somewhere in the six proposals that we were shown recently lies the answer to our problems.

I am hopeful that it will include leaving the People's Park alone, some widening and aligning of the river, an additional arch under the bridge, and general maintenance on the river, with the minimal amount of engineered solutions that are required to give us the safety we need. This all should be planned and executed with the people of the flood basin of Little Bray in mind, and not for the needs of Pizzaro or indeed the future development of Fassaroe.

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John Doyle, Dargle Court Apts., off Greenpark Road.

It is my belief that our best opportunity of achieving much needed flood defence works in a way which suits us all would be a dam up around Powerscourt (agreed by consultation with the local people), along with deepening the river bed, a culvert down stream to the golf lands to straighten up the river flowing to the bridge, reinforcement of walls etc., with as little intrusion into the people’s park as possible, and a higher standard of engineered solutions than currently proposed by Pizzaro. Along with keeping as much of the flood plain as possible.

I am of the opinion that proposals 3 and 6 being pushed by Pizzaro and BTC are the worst possible solutions of those on offer. They effectively mean sloping half of the people’s park up to the roadside, thereby removing that section of the park from road side viewing. This option also removes the wall currently at the river, and, as a result, will ensure that any rain fall and increase in river flow activity will flood that half of the park on a regular bases, thus acting as a permanent storage area. The old adage springs to mind (water always finds it own level). The result in my opinion will be the loss of an amenity currently well utilised, due to deliberately engineered flooding. This option also allows for unsupervised open and encouraged access to a river, thereby providing a new danger to children playing in the park, that of drowning.

I therefore reject options 3 and 6 and propose what I have outlined in my first paragraph

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D. Collins, Killarney Glen, Herbert Road, Bray

  1. The provision of upstream storage, and culverting of bridges
  2. combined with regular maintenance of silt build-up.
  3. Try to maintain a minimum level during drought periods to support a healthy river ecology.

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Elizabeth Collins, Killarney Glen.

  1. Containment up river, widening and deepening river.
  2. Vegetation removed and maintained free from re-growth.
  3. Extra culvert at Bray Bridge, with regular maintenance.
  4. Regular drainage of Harbour.

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Bernard Collins, Killarney Glen.

Prevent growth of trees on river bank.

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Mary Duggan, The Maltings

The only comment I would like to make is that I am totally against building houses on the flood plains.

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Audrey Collins, 32 The Maltings.

  • The creation of an artificial lake just off the N11 (where contour lines indicate a relatively flat area with very few houses), with a culvert for fish to retain the ecological balance of the river, and sluice gates to control the flow, ie. in case of storm, lower water levels before storm and therefore increase the capacity of lake to contain excess water. Make the lake a public amenity with access to public. Build basic club houses with shower facilities to allow for clubs (canoeing, sailing, snorkelling, etc.) to use the facility. Close the lake to public during problem times.
  • Maintenance of sluice gates at regular intervals.
  • Widening and deepening of river, again to be maintained on a regular basis, ie. river bed regrading (lowering and levelling – excavation of river bank to widen channel, especially along the golf links, and appropriate containment walls/embankments cladded with for example granite, retaining the river view.
  • Culvert at Bray Bridge under road at Superquinn and perhaps culvert at Harbour Bridge.
  • Retain the lowlands at Bray golf links as flood plain, ie. no development on low lands there.
  • Dredging of Bray Harbour at regular intervals and maintenance.
  • A regular monitoring of water levels.
  • A pumping station at People’s Park and at the golf links.
  • Extra protection at key points of river, eg. Slang, People’s Park.
  • Control vegetation and trees on river bank.
  • Regular inspection of growth pattern.

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SWAP's response:

To the Flood Defence Study Group,

There are two basic tenets underpinning all of the following comments, as far as we are concerned.

The first is that we maintain that, as well as these very necessary flood defence works, we also need the safety valve of the low lying part of the golf links in case of future flooding. The flood plain cannot be dammed by high density construction without creating a huge safety risk to our very vulnerable community. From that point of view, we were very glad to see the new recommendation for a flood relief channel through the side gate to the golf club lands, and running along the river side of the golf links. We don't believe that it is enough, but it is a start...

Secondly, we see these comments as part of an ongoing dialogue with your flood study group, not as a final chance to comment on them. The Project Format outlined in your presentation on braytowncouncil.ie seems to suggest that there will only be two 'public consultation' processes within the project. April 10th is named as the first 'public consultation day', but, as you know, there were absolutely no proposals available that day. November 6th is named as the second, and seemingly final, part of the 'consultation' on the proposals. While we felt this presentation was a much better format, and we were given much more information, we would point out that we have been assured by the OPW that the proposals are still very much at the stage when they can be changed, or completely new proposals presented, and that a continuous dialogue will be maintained until a final scheme is agreed.

So far, our reactions to the initial six options put forward by the Flood Study Group are:-

NEGATIVE: We see the option of raising the riverside wall so high that the river cannot be seen as unacceptable and unjust. Why should the present residents of Bray lose their connection with the river while a proposed new development will be allowed tower over it?

We worry that the option of sloping a large section of the People’s Park for storage would be dangerous, as well as unfair. It would mean that this part of the Park – a substantial part because the Park is small and narrow – would flood far more often than at present because of sloping down to the river's edge. Without any riverside wall there, this would be extremely dangerous for our children. In addition, the steep slope would make this part of the Park far more difficult for elderly people and people in wheelchairs to negotiate. Also, that part of the Park would now be out of sight from the road, making it far more likely to encourage anti-social behaviour, particularly at night.

It should also be remembered that the People's Park is safeguarded because it was given to the People of Bray in perpetuity in a very watertight Deed which has already been tested when an attempt was made to put a bridge across the Park when the Maltings were first built...

POSITIVE: Our preference, therefore, on what we have seen so far would be a combination of:-

  1. flood storage upstream, but preferably with several smaller dams, rather than one big one that – if it broke – would release a huge deluge of flood water in one enormous burst on our community;
  2. engineered works, including widening the river upstream of our community, deepening it if possible, taking out the skew between Bray Bridge and the railway bridge by moving the river in towards the golf links and away from Seapoint Court, and adding a fourth arch – or culvert – to Bray Bridge;
  3. containment (building up and reinforcing walls and embankments) that is both people-and-river-friendly, ie. that maintains the link between the present residents of the Dargle valley and its river.

We intend to encourage debate about the various options on our web site - www.braywatch.com/Town/news.html - in order to give your group feedback. We're confident that you will understand that to allow this to happen, and particularly for us to gather feedback from the very many residents in our community who do not use the internet, we need more time than tomorrow's deadline, particularly as the presentation, with its maps and graphs, has only been available on Bray Town Council's site since Friday. I put our proposal to Tim Joyce about debating these options on our website and he thought this was an excellent idea. He said that he would ask Paul Healy to keep an eye them and feed back to the OPW.

By the way, some of the maps in the presentation on Bray Town Council's site are quite difficult to see because of the 'label' across the most essential parts of them. It creates a screen that is very difficult to see through. Is there any chance of having this corrected, please? I think it's a very small technical problem, no more.

Finally, we have already had some discussion with members of other Dargle river communities, and found their feedback extremely interesting. It would be good for all of us to get a chance to see, and perhaps be influenced by, each other's contributions. We intend to facilitate that as much as possible through meetings and through our web site and again we will feed it back to your group as soon as possible.

Thank you for the presentations and for the opportunity to influence the end results.

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  Bray Bridge from the river walk

Bray Bridge
from the river walk

(click here to enlarge)

Our Stories - updated
8th November, 2006


Fighting Fund - created
13th June, 2006


Letter Campaign - created
13th June, 2006


Emergency Plan - created
13th June, 2006


Deputation to BTC - updated
7th October, 2005


Our Stories - updated
28th August, 2005


The Answer - updated
22nd August, 2005


Their Plans - updated
22nd August, 2005

 
 

e-mail: swap@braywatch.com