Concerned group has its say on Greenway policy

Tadhg Evans

A group with concerns about the proposed South Kerry Greenway will make a submission to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as part of a public consultation on a new strategy for future development of Greenway projects.

Minister Shane Ross TD launched the public process in May after the publication of a consultation paper. All interested parties were invited to give their views on the consultation paper and other issues around Greenway development.

The Greenway Information Group, consisting mainly of South Kerry-based farmers, has previously raised concerns about aspects of the 32-kilometre Greenway proposed from Glenbeigh to Renard, and will make an eight-point submission to the Department this week. It includes calls for "a fair and transparent process to deliver cycle routes", and for Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) - being proposed to acquire lands for the South Kerry project - never to be used for projects where it involves access to privately owned lands. It also says "there must be no severance of private landholdings without prior consent of landowners," and suggests that "public lands like cut-away bogs and forests are perfect for greenways."

Kerry County Council did not comment on the submission, but has made its own submission. It added that the proposed route is finalised and will be published at a public meeting later this summer. It says amendments to the route are not anticipated at this stage.

The route report will feed into a planning application to An Bord Pleanála in the coming months, including CPO and route selection reports and an Environmental Impact Statement. KCC has previously defended pursuing the required land by CPO on economic and tourism grounds, and it's thought the proposed track along an old railway line would be worth millions each year to an area that was badly hit by the recession.


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