Press Statement - Blackpool FRS - OPW Response
The Office of Public Works, along with a multi-disciplinary team, has done extensive work over the last nine years to analyse, assess and model the flood risk in Blackpool, and has considered a wide range of options for managing the significant risk posed to property and people. This work has resulted in the development of the most effective Flood Relief Scheme to provide this community with much-needed protection from extreme flood events, both now and into the future. During the course of the development of the Blackpool (River Bride) Flood Relief Scheme, the OPW also has engaged extensively with the public and other stakeholders.
The proposed flood relief scheme is a critically required infrastructural investment in the Blackpool area, which will serve to protect businesses and people in the area from the ongoing risk of flooding. The Office of Public Works reiterates its commitment to achieving this objective.
In March 2021, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform confirmed the scheme under Section 7 of the Arterial Drainage Acts 1945 and 1995 (as amended). In June 2021, a community group was granted leave to apply for a Judicial Review of the decision of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to approve the Blackpool Flood Relief Schem. A stay was also granted on works being carried out pursuant to the Decision, pending the resolution of these proceedings.
Today, the Department of Public Expenditure has agreed to consent to an order reverting the evaluation of the Blackpool Flood Relief Scheme back to an advanced stage of further public consultation. In agreeing to this, the Department of Public Expenditure has conceded the matter on a single ground related to public consultation procedures on certain information as part of the confirmation process.
The confirmation process for this scheme, including any additional public consultation required, is a matter for the Department for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Office of Public Works will continue to engage with Department for Public Expenditure and Reform as appropriate to further progress the scheme.