Client: Munster Agricultural Society
Location: Cork, Ireland
Date: February 2019 – February 2020
Sweco was commissioned by Munster Agricultural Society to prepare a stage 3 site-specific flood risk assessment (SSFRA) for a proposed Exhibition and Education Facility at Curraheen in County Cork in support of their planning application to Cork County Council. The SSFRA was prepared in accordance with the guidelines produced by the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG) – “The Planning System and Flood Risk Management Guidelines for Planning Authorities” (November 2009).
Hydraulic modelling was undertaken by Sweco to check for any flood risk to the development as well as from the development where it might take up floodplain storage. The first pass of the flood modelling showed elements of the proposed development to be within the floodplain. Sweco liaised with the architect, engineer and project ecologist to determine appropriate mitigation measures which included re-profiling the ground adjacent to the development within the client’s site boundary. This proposal was re-modelled to ensure that the re-profiling within the site would not increase flooding elsewhere in adjoining properties as well as checking that the flooding avoided the revised development layout. The model output proved favourable for this solution and the re-profiling of the adjacent ground was adopted as part of the application for the development.
A sensitivity test was conducted in the modelling to check flooding patterns for the 1 in 1000-year return period including an allowance for climate change. It was recognised that for this return period in the baseline existing condition, the flooding would break the banks of the Curraheen River at the confluence with the Maglin River and start to flow along an overground pathway from the north west of the proposed development to a low point in the topography to the south east. Sweco liaised with the architect during the design development process to ensure that this flood flow pathway could be maintained and to ensure that no critical infrastructure would obstruct this pathway.
Sweco prepared the flood risk assessment and provided responses to third party appeals which followed the planning application.
Sweco’s flood specialist Mary Creedon undertook the assessment along with support from her UK hydraulic modelling colleagues. A strong collaborative effort was achieved between Sweco and all of the technical and architectural experts leading to a final design which was submitted to the planning authority.