Statutory consultation on proposed works by the OPW as required under Section 42 (6) and (8) of the EU (Birds and Habitats) Regulations 2011, as amended.
Ref: 02/2021 Natura Impact Statement for replacement of three accommodation bridges and a headwall, OPW Arterial Drainage Scheme Coonagh, Co Limerick.
The OPW (as the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland) has statutory responsibility for the maintenance of drainage schemes completed under the Arterial Drainage Acts 1945 and 1995, as amended.
The OPW propose to carry out structural work by replacing three accommodation bridges and one landward sluice headwall within drainage channels in the Coonagh Drainage Scheme. This is to alleviate flooding in the locality caused by impeded flow within these channels and to allow continued access to the lands.
The proposed works are within 300m metres from the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC code 2165) and River Shannon and River Fergus Special Protection Area (SPA code 4077) and the works areas are separated by the a flood embankment and a sluiced drainage system. In this regard a Habitats Directive Natura Impact Statement report has been prepared.
The proposed works will be carried out under the Arterial Drainage Acts 1945 and 1995.
The proposed work involves the replacement of 3 no. existing accommodation bridges, which traverse drainage channels in the Coonagh area.. The bridges are critical infrastructure, which facilitate access for undertaking routine channel & vegetation maintenance of the Coonagh Embankment Scheme, and more importantly serve as providing access to the adjacent Sluice 2 &3 and Embankment E1, and also facilitate access of the landowner.
It is also proposed to carry out remedial work on the rear headwall of Sluice 2&3 which is in extremely poor condition. The wall is in danger of collapse due to major settlement/movement cracks. The floor of the bridge is not to the proper invert level. The splayed walls need to be extended to facilitate greater conveyance through this structure.
In accordance with Section 42 (6) and (8) of the EU (Birds and Habitats) Regulations 2011, as amended, the OPW are now required to carry out an appropriate assessment of the implications of the proposed works, alone and in combination with other plans and projects, on the integrity of a Natura 2000 site in view of its conservation objectives.
An Appropriate Assessment Screening Report and a Natura Impact Statement have been prepared in respect of these proposed works and are provided below.
Natura Impact Statement for replacement of three accommodation bridges and a headwall, OPW Arterial Drainage Scheme Coonagh, Co Limerick
The OPW now invites submissions and observations from the public relating to the likely significant effects of the proposed works on the following European Sites, if carried out:
• Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC) (Site Code: 002165),
• River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries Special Protection Area (SPA) (Site Code: 004077) and
The OPW shall have regard to any submissions or observations received during this public consultation when arriving at a decision. The OPW will also consult with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
How to make a submission
We are committed to engaging with stakeholders in a clear, open and transparent manner. Any person or organisation can make a submission in relation to this consultation. Public consultation forms an important part of advancing the consideration of the environmental impacts associated with these works and allows the involvement of the public in developing a better outcome for the associated SACs and SPAs.
Submissions will be accepted from Friday 3rd December 2021 to Friday 13th January 2022, up to 5pm. Submissions will not be accepted outside the consultation period.
You can make a submission online by using this online form:
We are committed to engaging with stakeholders in a clear, open and transparent manner. Any person or organisation can make a submission in relation to this consultation. Individual responses to submissions will not be provided however all submissions and feedback will be considered before the final decision is made.
Please note that responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI), Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007-2018 (AIE) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
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