BÓRD Pleanála concerns lead Kerry County Council back to the drawing board on N86 road improvement scheme AN BÓRD PLEANALA has indicated to Kerry County Council that it needs to revise design aspects of the proposed N86 Dingle to Annascaul and Gortbreagoge to Camp Road Improvement Scheme, stating that "the Board is not minded to approve the development as applied for".
In a letter sent to Kerry County Council, dated November 7, An Bórd Pleanála outlined that although it is accepted that there is a demonstrated need to upgrade the N86 route from Tralee to Dingle, there are concerns about the current format of the road improvement scheme, which was designed as one of four Tourist Route Pilot Schemes in Ireland.
An Bórd Pleanála cited concerns surrounding the "excessive loss of established treelines, hedgerows, natural stone walls, woodland and semi-natural habitats over the 28 kilometre length of the scheme".
It went on to say that it considers the road improvement scheme, which would result in a typical overall finished road width of 16 metres - and up to 28 metres in some areas - "would represent an excessive intervention into the landscape" and would have "an unacceptable, detrimental impact on the visual amenities and landscape character."
An Bórd Pleanála also outlined its "serious concerns in relation to the long-distance cycleway proposed alongside the national secondary route over the entire length of the scheme from Dingle to Camp", adding that it "might not offer an attractive recreational or amenity route, by virtue of the proximity of cyclists to the carriageway of a busy national secondary road" and might therefore "remain underutilised".
An Bórd Pleanála also said the cycleway would contribute to the "excessive width of the overall road corridor."
However, the board added that it may be possible for the proposed road scheme to be redesigned to address concerns raised and are "provisionally of the view that it might be appropriate to approve the proposed road development subject to certain alterations to the scheme design being carried out."
An Bórd Pleanála's request to Kerry County Council for revisions to the scheme includes a narrower overall road, omitting the cycleway and reducing the total width. They also want the council to re-examine the alignment to avoid "scarring the landscape".
A council spokesperson said: "At this early stage we are still assessing the correspondence. We will be discussing the matter with the relevant parties, including the NRA and looking to see what our options are."