Opposition shrinks but bypass faces a battle
A total of 29 people opposed to the Listowel Bypass withdrew their objections to the €40 million project as an oral hearing into the plans got underway in the North Kerry town on Tuesday.
An Bord Pleanála opened its oral hearing into Kerry County Council's CPO and planning application for the massive project, in the Listowel Arms in a forum expected to run until Thursday.
Two consultants signalled the withdrawal of the 29 objections raised by landowners they represent early on Tuesday. The Kerryman understands most of these landowners have signed up to the CPO after receiving assurances that concerns they have over relatively minor matters, from noise pollution to drainage, will be addressed to their satisfaction.
However, landowners whose farm operations will be impacted to a far greater degree remain opposed to the project for now, as do many traders in Listowel concerned the bypass will deflect vital business from the town in favour of larger urban centres with which they are already struggling to compete.
Tuesday heard the case for the bypass, with project manager Tracy Smith among those to deliver a detailed overview of what it will entail. Those objecting to the project were to be given the chance to air their concerns as the oral hearing continued into Wednesday.