Articles & Case Studies

Faber Maunsell | AECOM appointed on Belfast Flood Risk Study

Posted: Thursday 5th February 2009

Given the scale of coastal flood risk in Belfast illustrated by the Strategic Flood Map (NI) – Rivers & Sea, Faber Maunsell | AECOM has been commissioned by the Rivers Agency to undertake a flood risk management study for Belfast.

Published by the Rivers Agency this month, the Strategic Flood Map illustrates areas throughout Northern Ireland that are estimated to be prone to flooding from rivers and the sea. It also provides additional information on the location of raised flood defences (such as embankments and walls) and shows the areas which benefit from a reduction in the likelihood of flooding as a consequence of their presence.

The Strategic flood Map (NI) is designed to:
· Help Rivers Agency and other bodies to plan and manage their work to reduce flood risk;
· Encourage people living and working in an area prone to flooding to find out more; and
· Inform anyone who wants to apply for planning permission if flooding is likely to be an important consideration.
The map can be accessed at
In undertaking the Belfast Flood Risk Management Study Faber Maunsell will be assessing the scale and nature of flood risk in Belfast and working collaboratively with other responsible authorities to develop holistic solutions for the management of that risk. A Belfast Stakeholder Group will be formed to facilitate this process.

Bill Price, a Director in Faber Maunsell’s Belfast office said: “The main risk is from tidal flooding, and this is increasing due to climate change. In addition, surface water and inadequate drainage can also cause problems, as highlighted by the flooding in August this year.

Thus it is important that Faber Maunsell works in collaboration with the responsible authorities to examine all possible measures to manage the risk including policy development, land use planning as well as traditional flood defence interventions. The Belfast Study will eventually form part of a larger catchment Flood Risk Management Plan as required by the EU Floods Directive”.

The initial phase of the study is programmed to last four months with completion in early 2009.

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