— Farmers objected to route over use of compulsory purchase orders.
An Bord Pleanala has given the green light for the South Kerry Greenway to proceed.
Kerry County Council said its Cathaoirleach (chairperson), Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen has welcomed the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the South Kerry Greenway. He said the decision to approve the project represents an enormous boost for the county.
Anluan Dunne, a spokesperson Kerry Cycling Campaign, said: “The approval for the 32km greenway from Glenbeigh to Caherciveen is welcome on many levels. For local residents it will provide an off-road route connecting their communities. For the local economy the greenway represents an opportunity to attract visitors to what will be one of Ireland’s most picturesque greenways. It is great to have a decision and the capacity to now deliver this important project for South Kerry”
Local FG TD Brenden Griffin said: “Absolutely overjoyed and relieved by the decision of An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission for the South Kerry Greenway.”
He added: “I will continue to work to make this project a reality as soon as possible to build on our great progress on greenways in Kerry in recent years.”
Compulsory purchase orders justified says planners
On the issue of compulsory purchase orders for land along the route, the An Bord Pleanala inspector’s report said the community need for the South Kerry Greenway scheme has been established, the particular lands that constitute the route corridor are suitable to meet the needs of the South Kerry Greenway scheme and the scale, layout and location of the proposed South Kerry Greenway scheme have been justified.
The report said that all lands included in the CPO, excepting those lands omitted by way of a recommended planning condition adjacent to Valentia Estuary, and that the proposed South Kerry Greenway scheme is compatible with the relevant development plan provisions.
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In the report, Karla Mc Bride, a Senior Planning Inspector, said: “I acknowledge that the proposed Compulsory Purchase Order for the proposed South Kerry Greenway scheme will involve the permanent loss of approximately 14.6ha of land and the temporary loss of approximately 7.4ha of land for construction works. At present the lands are in a variety of uses including agricultural and residential lands. However, this loss should be balanced against the wider objectives which seek to implement South Kerry Greenway scheme in accordance with the policies and provisions contained in the Development Plan and the need to secure the objectives of the Development Plan in accordance with the provisions of Section 15(2) and Sections 212(1) (a) of the Planning and Development Act 2000.”
Mc Bride added: “The acquisition of the lands in question would also serve an important community need …of the Iveragh Peninsula between Renard Point and Glenbeigh by providing a safe and accessible cycling and pedestrian amenity that would facilitate the realisation of a specific policy objective and in turn act as a catalyst to address the ongoing decline in population, employment and school enrolments, provide community wide benefits, and provide economic benefits along the route. I therefore recommend that the Compulsory Purchase Order of the South Kerry Greenway scheme be confirmed.”