independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Council seems to see trees as an obstacle to be demolished

The scene at Ashemount in Dingle last Friday following the demolition of the Green Wall by KCC to make way for upgrade works. Photo by Marian O'Flaherty

Sir, The recent destruction of the demesne wall and trees at the Green, Dingle, by Kerry County Council exposes what I consider to be a fundamental problem at Kerry County Council. That is that it appears to be led by engineers, best demonstrated by the car priority network they are proceeding with in Dingle. This should have involved much more consultation and any plan to cut down trees should have been highlighted.

To my mind roundabouts are an obsolete system in urban areas, where pedestrian priority should apply, and they will inevitably be removed within ten years. The planned roundabout in Strand Street, Dingle, will be particularly disruptive.

A couple of years ago the council cut down a very fine grove of trees, beginning this process also at 5am with the explanation that it was to prevent traffic hold up. At the Green, they repeated the procedure, this time in darkness.

A simpler, cheaper and better solution to the real need to replace the narrow footpath at Ashmount was given to the council by An Taisce and the Concerned Dingle Group, which was to put a footpath on the harbour side of the trees and wall.

The council doesn't appear to have a great record of taking on board the opinions of planners and landscape experts and considerable sums of money seem to have been wasted in the process - most recently on the planned Dingle Tralee road improvement scheme.

I find it difficult to understand the thinking of the council on such matters.

Previously, the attempt to take over half the Dingle Town Park for a car park, incredibly seemed to ignore the fact that the planned entrance road would have gone through a registered National Monument. The ten mile road planned for north of Mount Brandon that appeared not to notice the National Park was another, not to mention the big wasted effort to cut through a top rated European habitat at Ballyseedy Wood. The better solution of the bypass proposed by those objecting has only recently been completed.

It appears that all the council has learned is that trees block them and their solution is to cut them down.

This county and its coastline is of world renown. Suffice to say that Kerry County Council has formally designated Slaudeen, Beenbawn Head to Doonshean as Rural meaning that coast is non scenic.

Sincerely,

Bernard Goggin,

Goat St,

Dingle.

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