Kerry County Council has denied it threatened landowners with a CPO in 2014.
Yesterday evening, during the second day of the oral hearing into the proposed South Kerry Greenway, replies sent by Kerry County Council to involved parties were read into the record.
The local authority decided to acquire the lands needed by compulsory purchase order, following failure to secure agreement over the years with some landowners along the 32-kilometre route from Glenbeigh to Renard.
Senior Executive Engineer with Kerry County Council – and Project Manager for the scheme – Conor Culloo read the replies given to relevant parties.
In a reply to Denis O’Connor and Carmeil Ní Mhorain, the local authority said it did not state in October 2014 that if landowners did not cooperate with the proposals, the lands would be secured through a CPO.
The council said this is clearly incorrect as consultation with landowners was still ongoing
and no decision in relation to a CPO had been made at that stage.
The reply stated that, during meetings in October and November 2014, Kerry County Council was asked if a CPO was possible if agreement could not be reached; it said the use of a CPO was a possibility but that negotiations were ongoing and no consideration had been given to that option.
In response to the Irish Farmers Association, the council said all county councillors were unanimous on the need for the scheme while eight councillors opposed the use of the CPO mechanism, when voted upon in February 2015.
A year later, in a written response to the Greenway Information Group in December 2016, the council stated that it was aware that using the CPO process was a concern among landowners.