The oral hearing into the proposed South Kerry Greenway will take a further two weeks to conclude.
Kerry County Council is seeking to acquire the lands using a compulsory purchase order, following failure to come to an agreement with all 197 landowners along the 32-km route from Glenbeigh to Renard.
The second week of the oral hearing ended this afternoon with An Bord Pleanála inspector Karla McBride saying a further two weeks will be needed to conclude matters; it had been expected the hearing would take two weeks in total.
The hearing had been divided into two modules: week one comprised submissions to the planning application for the greenway, while this week was concerned with submissions to the CPO.
However, the time needed for both was significantly underestimated.
This morning, barrister for the Greenway Information Group Michael O’Donnell took issue with the inspector’s declaration that his submission – and that of his 27 clients – has to be concluded by 3pm.
He said his clients have a deep feeling of unease over how the oral hearing has been run: for example, he cited discrepancies between the amount of time afforded to the council in comparison to his clients; he claimed “ultimatums” are being placed upon the group in relation to giving their submissions; and he said there’s an inconsistency between what’s being said and what’s being done by An Bord Pleanála.
In response, the inspector said it’s her job to manage and administer the hearing in an expedient manner.
During the second week of the oral hearing six landowners made submissions, with at least a further 20 to be represented by barrister Michael O’Donnell during week four.
Week three is due to commence on Tuesday, November 12th in a Tralee venue.