Council claims public consultation was central to proposed South Kerry Greenway project

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An oral hearing into the proposed South Kerry Greenway has heard that public consultation was central to scheme.

Anna-Meria Costelloe, Assistant Planner with Kerry County Council, was speaking about the process during the first day of An Bord Pleanála’s oral hearing into the proposed 32-kilometre greenway from Glenbeigh to Renard.

Kerry County Council decided to acquire the lands needed by compulsory purchase order for the proposed 32-kilometre route, following failure to secure agreement with nearly 200 landowners.

Anna-Meria Costelloe, Assistant Planner with Kerry County Council, compiled a report on the public consultation process and the possible effects the greenway could have on residential amenities.

She said An Bord Pleanála received over 120 submissions relating to the planning application and 70 for the CPO during a statutory consultation process; one submission in support of the project contained 1,223 signatures.

A previous criticism of the proposed project centred on a lack of consultation with landowners.

In response, Ms Costelloe said there were 20 consultation days held over the past number of years and that a liaison officer had been assigned to the project.

She added that public consultation and engagement have been central to the development of the scheme, and that there were four phases of non-statutory public consultation.

Those who made submissions or observations – both in support or against – were not allowed to respond at this time to the council’s claim.

The oral hearing, which attracted over 100 people yesterday, continues this morning in the Manor West Hotel in Tralee.