Anger as Cllrs claim OPW's flood maps are affecting insurance cover

February 9th, 2017 10:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Cllr James O'Donovan: ‘If Innishannon floods, it will be Noah's Ark stuff'

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A COUNCILLOR has called on the Office of Public Works (OPW) to revise the flood boundaries on their maps, after he claimed that in the village of Innishannon, part of Church Hill is deemed to be in a flood plain, which he described as ‘crazy.’ 

Bandon-based Councillor James O’Donovan said it will have devastating effects on existing homeowners and business owners that are now deemed to be inside the parameters of flood risk areas in the future.

Cllr O’Donovan (FG) raised this motion at a meeting of Cork County Council this week and said that in one example, in Kilbrittain village, where parts of it are included in the OPW report,  a local petrol pump owner said it was impinging on his business, as he can’t get insurance.

‘I would call again on the OPW to look at this again. They’ve done the report, but have gone too far as it will devalue property,’ said Cllr O’Donovan.

‘If you look at other villages, you can see that Innishannon is deemed to be in a flood plain, and if that’s the case, it’s going to be Noah’s Ark stuff.’

Cllr Kevin Murphy (FG) said it was ‘no brainer’ and supported his colleague’s motion.

‘Some existing businesses are in deep trouble where the maps have been extended. We would ask the OPW to look again at the maps. It’s totally loopy that they have covered areas like the Main Street in Innishannon which they say could be liable to being flooded,’ said Cllr Murphy.

‘Does the OPW know what they are doing? I am calling once again on the OPW – asking them quite clearly for sufficient evidence,’ he added.

Cllr Gillian Coughlan (FF) said while the flood maps are important, she concurred with her fellow councillors that the ‘methodology seems rather rough’.

‘I would suggest that the boxes on the map cover more land than there actually is, and I would ask them to grade the boxes so that areas that are unlikely to flood can be highlighted,’ said Cllr Coughlan.

‘The issue of insurance will also be a problem and especially if insurance companies are looking at these maps. It will also have an impact on the Local Area Plan as areas zoned for building are now covered with these big blue boxes. Maybe they could colour-grade the level of risk?’

Cllr Rachel McCarthy (SF) supported the motion also, and pointed out that there were houses on top of a hill in Bandon included as ‘high risk’ which, she said, could never get flooded.

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