Galway Advertiser 2008/GA_2008_09_11/GA_1109_E1_014.pdf
14 N E W S
September 11 2008
Gormley guidelines will not stop flood plain development, warns Higgins
BY KERNAN ANDREWS New planning guidelines from the Environment Minister John Gormley will not prevent councillors from zoning flood plains for development, Labour TD Michael D Higgins has warned. Dep Higgins said the guidelines will give better guidance to local authority officials but when it comes to councillors, the guidelines will not be binding. "Ultimately members of local authorities will still be fully entitled to vote for or against a particular rezoning," said Dep Higgins. "In other words, the guidelines will not prevent councils from making decisions to allow houses to be built on flood plains." Dep Higgins believes more concrete action needs to be taken to prevent the risk of flooding the county has endured in recent times. "I have sought over the past number of years, particularly the last year following the terrible flooding suffered in Oranmore, to alleviate the terrible difficulties which inevitably follow on from decisions to build on flood plains," he said. Dep Higgins said what is needed is the enactment of legislation to allow for the designation of certain lands as protected from housing development. Such legislation could be used where lands carry such a high risk of flooding to make it too costly or to difficult to put in place necessary flood relief and management measures. "Flooding is always going to be with us," said Dep Higgins, "but with a strategic approach to its management, sustained capital investment and sustainable planning and development, its impacts on our communities can be minimised."
Braving the bad weather at Blackrock on Wednesday. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy
St Nicholas' to hold candlelight vigil to remember lives lost to suicide
BY KERNAN ANDREWS St Nicholas' Collegiate Church will hold a candlelight vigil on Thursday September 18 at 8pm as part of events around World Suicide Prevention Day. The event is being organised by the Irish charity, 3TS - Turning The Tide of Suicide. The purpose of the event is to remember those who have lost their lives through suicide and to raise awareness for suicide prevention in Ireland. Each event which is open to the public will be marked with a minute's silence to remember those who have lost their lives to suicide. Those interested in finding out more about the 3TS World Suicide Prevention Day Candlelight Vigils, should go to www.3ts.ie or phone 01 - 2139905.
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