Save Our Floodplain - before it's too late
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We live alongside the River Dargle in Bray Co Wicklow. And many of us have survived several major floods here. Flood defences, thankfully, are now in place – but flood defences can fail, as they did here twice last year. The photo above was taken in August last. In the foreground is the Dargle River: behind the flood defences is the flooded floodplain on the lowlands of the former Bray golf links. It lies between us and the sea…
In 2010 Pizarro Developments were granted a 10 year planning permission to build a new Town Centre there. This was despite An Bord Pleanala’s Inspector recommending refusal, the appalling floods of 2009, and Pizarro’s debts having by then been taken over by NAMA. That permission still stands till 2020, although Pizarro has now gone into Receivership without building on the lowland. If the site is sold to another developer, however, our floodplain will be destroyed forever, and any future flooding will have nowhere to go from our homes.
We are not opposed to development, but we believe that it makes economic, as well as moral, sense for the State to purchase this 8.6 acres of floodplain, and retain it as a public linear park. Otherwise, money reimbursed to the State from its sale (NAMA is Pizarro’s biggest creditor) will simply go towards restoring our entire neighbourhood when the next big flood comes along. The rest of the 41 acre site, along with Pizarro’s other extensive properties, can be safely sold for development at a profit.
But first our 32 elected representatives on Wicklow County Council must return the floodplain to its original Open Space zoning. We are a particularly vulnerable community, with a high percentage of elderly and disabled residents - and this may be our last chance to protect this safety valve for flooding from our homes.
Please give our small community a big voice by asking Wicklow County Council and the Ministers for Finance, for Planning & Local Government, and for the OPW and Flood Relief to #SaveOurFloodplain.
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