Councillors say not enough time allowed for Greenway discussions with landowners

Kerry County Council did not allow enough time for discussions with landowners about the South Kerry Greenway.

That’s according to Cllr Johnny Healy Rae who said Kerry was the first Greenway plan to introduce a compulsory purchase order, stating that Waterford and Mayo got away without one.

Cllr Jim Finucane told this week’s meeting of the county council that extra time was given for negotiations with landowners, however Cllr Healy Rae said he didn’t think one month was adequate when consulting 170 landowners.

Last week An Bord Pleanala directed Kerry County Council to prepare an environmental impact statement for the proposed South Kerry Greenway Project.

The multi-million euro 26 kilometre South Kerry Greenway aims to connect Glenbeigh and Renard via Caherciveen.

The project has experienced delays which has prevented delivering it within the funding timeframe.

Almost 3.5 million euro has been allocated to the project with €367,000 drawn down in 2016.

Director of Operations with Kerry County Council, Charlie O’Sullivan said the recently opened Deise Greenway in Waterford did not require a CPO as the railway line was under the city and county council.

Meanwhile Cllr Norma Moriarty said the greenway in Waterford will pale in comparison to South Kerry and it is essential to arrest rural decline and depopulation.

Cllr Michael Cahill said the council should be encouraging every single landowner to use common sense and allow this go ahead.