27 APRIL 2018
Following a meeting with landowners affected by proposed Greenways in Kerry, Clare and the Galway region, ICSA Rural Development chairman Seamus Sherlock has reiterated that the threat of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) should be removed from the process. “CPOs are viewed as heavy handed in the extreme and fill landowners with absolute fear and confusion. Many feel they are being forced into a David versus Goliath position and have to deal with all the stress and anxiety that goes with that,” said Mr Sherlock.
Continuing Mr Sherlock said, “ICSA, as well as the majority of landowners, fully support tourism initiatives like cycleways and walkways but they have to be done right and with the proper consultation. That proper consultation process was promised by Minister Ross and needs to be put in place. This would allow affected landowners raise their legitimate concerns as well as give the invaluable input of vast local knowledge. By working together I have no doubt that a consensus on workable routes could be reached and these projects could move forward with goodwill. It is widely accepted that the goodwill of local communities is a vital element for the success of tourism initiatives.”
“ICSA believes that Minister Ross should honour his promise of proper consultation and as a gesture of goodwill remove the threat of CPOs. CPOs were intended for essential infrastructure projects like motorways not for tourism experiments. Farmers and landowners are not the problem here, it’s the heavy handed negative approach taken by Transport Infrastructure Ireland that seems to be the real issue.”