Landowner says greenway would look like stitches on someone’s face

A landowner has told an oral hearing the proposed South Kerry Greenway would look like stitches across someone’s head in the landscape.
Kerry County Council is seeking permission to construct a 32-kilometre walk and cycleway from Glenbeigh to Renard; it is also seeking approval for a Compulsory Purchase Order for the lands needed.
This is the fourth week of An Bord Pleanala’s oral hearing on the scheme at Manor West Hotel, Tralee.
Denis O’Connor said he bought his sheep farm with his wife when they returned from America in 1991.
Six acres of his land, which are used for lambing and silage, would be below the proposed line of the greenway; he said the greenway would be pretty much the death of his farm.
During silage season he said he could cross the greenway up to 60 times a day; he also raised insurance concerns about bringing animals across the greenway.
He said they were told by the council the farmers would be the priority user of the greenway; when asked by Inspector Karla McBride if it changed that farmers would have priority he said it would take uncertainty out the situation.
Mr O’Connor told the hearing the greenway wouldn’t fit in on the landscape – he said it would look like stitches across someone’s head; it would be a tarmac streak on the landscape, he said.
Mr O’Connor said the council had left landowners with no option but to come to the hearing to defend themselves; none of the landowners wanted to be there, he said.
Agronomist for Kerry County Council, Diarmuid O’Sullivan said he had been refused permission to survey Mr O’Connor’s farm as part of his overall report on the potential impact of the greenway on farmlands.
He said he previously worked for Mr O’Connor for several years but didn’t disclose this to the council due to privacy concerns.
During questioning by barrister for the Greenway Information Group, Michael O’Donnell, he repeatedly denied that he used any of his previous personal correspondence on or knowledge of Mr O’Connor’s farm as part of his survey.
Mr O’Sullivan said he relied on roadside and desktop surveys and local enquiries.