The Irish Farmers’ Association has outlined its objection to the proposed South Kerry Greenway.
The IFA previously protested against the development of the greenway, due to having objections to the use of a compulsory purchase order.
The Chair of Kerry IFA Pat O’Driscoll spoke during the third day of An Bord Pleanála’s oral hearing into the proposed development, which is taking place in the Manor West Hotel in Tralee.
Pat O’Driscoll says he finds it hard to be in the position he’s in; he says he’s uniquely aware of the geography of the area and the impact the greenway could have on the area.
He believes if half the efforts which were put into the CPO process were put into negotiations with landowners, then the greenway would have been built by now.
The Valentia farmer claims the IFA were proactive and positive; however, instead of CPO being the last resort, it was the first resort.
He adds it’s a disgrace that seven years have been wasted in the development of the greenway.
Thomas Cooney, the National Chairman of the IFA’s Environment & Rural Affairs Committee, says the organisation supports the development of recreational routes.
However, he says it’s with regret that the IFA is objecting to the proposed development due to the actions of Kerry County Council.
Mr Cooney says the IFA is objecting on four grounds: it believes KCC didn’t follow all legal requirements; the proposal contravenes assurances given that a CPO wouldn’t be used; the development contravenes policy on the future planning of greenways; and the environmental reports are incomplete.