By Amy Rohu
DODDER Action have raised concerns about the proposal of a flood wall along a stretch of the riverbank in Milltown.
The proposal, adopted by South Dublin County Council, Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council, is to build 584m of flood walls at a height of 1.48m.
The group has raised concerns about the plan as it is outlined in the River Dodder Catchment Flood Risk Management Plan (2014), and particularly the proposal to build the walls on the river bank at Shanagarry Apartments and the Al Hussain Islamic Centre.
DA spokeswoman Victoria White told Dublin Gazette: “It is vital that the flood defences at Milltown do not go ahead as proposed.
“It would mean one and a half metre walls between the river bank and the river in the region of the Packhorse Bridge.”
She added: “This would destroy the value of the river bank as an amenity for local people and would have a serious impact on the wildlife in and around the river.
“There are a number of alternatives which are much cheaper to install and much more sympathetic to the biodiversity of the area than concrete walls and we would ask that these are considered as an alternative to the current proposals.”
Dodder Action suggests that a flood wall, if necessary, be built between the apartments and the Al Hussain Centre and the river, not between the river and the river bank.
Consultant engineers Byrne Looby said surveys of the river are ongoing and public consultation will take place before any new flood defences are constructed.
They added that modern flood mitigation measures allowing controlled flooding in the less populated upper reaches will only help with additional flooding caused by climate change – but not with the flood risk already calculated.
Cllr Dermot Lacey (Lab) also expressed his concerns around the flood wall plan.
He said: “I grew up beside the River Dodder and have enjoyed many lovely days alongside its banks.
“We need however to treat the river as the great environmental resource that it is and ensure all interventions are sensitive and enhancing.
“I have asked for a report on the suitability of the walls and a response to the concerns expressed for the next (council) area committee.”
The Dodder is home to many bird species including mallard, heron, kingfisher, dipper, coot, moorhen, cormorant and swan.
The red fox is also common along the riverbank as is the badger and otter.