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Council warned over plans for housing in areas at risk of floods

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Sites could be at risk of floods

Sites could be at risk of floods

Sites could be at risk of floods

A planning watchdog has called on Dublin City Council to reassess some of its plans to rezone industrial estates for residential development as part of efforts to tackle the capital's housing crisis.

The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) has advised the council to further review two of 20 proposed variations to the capital's development plan to rezone brownfield sites to allow their use for housing.

Proposed

The OPR has recommended that proposals to rezone lands in Kilmainham and East Wall Road require further consideration in consultation with other public bodies.

The regulator said both sites should not be rezoned if the proposed change of use was not compatible with existing guidelines relating to flood-risk assessment and protecting the route of key road projects respectively.

The OPR noted the council had earlier this month published a strategic flood risk assessment which had identified eight of the sites as being at risk of flooding. It expressed concern about the council's consideration of the potential flood risk relating to the rezoning of lands at Old Kilmainham and South Circular Road.

The OPR said two of the five separate sites, which are located in central Kilmainham, adjoined the banks of the Camac River and were considered highly vulnerable to flooding.

"The majority of the said two sites are proposed to be zoned Z1 to protect, provide and improve residential amenities and will accommodate uses that are vulnerable to flood risk," the regulator said.

It said the Office of Public Works (OPW) has signalled further assessment of flood protection works carried out in the area at Kearns Place and Lady Lane was required before the rezoning should proceed.

The regulator said the OPW also believed it would be contrary to existing planning guidelines to rezone further lands for housing in the area knowing that an adequate level of protection against flooding had not been provided.

The OPR said it accepted the principle of the rezoning of the site but was concerned the council had not fully addressed the flooding risk, nor shown that the future development of the lands would not cause "unacceptable adverse impacts elsewhere".

The regulator issued a recommendation the council should engage further with the OPW to determine the appropriateness of the rezoning given the flood risk.

It said the variation in relation to the Kilmainham lands should not proceed if it was not consistent with the Government's guidelines relating to development in flood risk areas.