Landowners seek higher payments

Some of the 100-plus landowners along the route of a €4m greenway through a leading tourist area are seeking higher payments for the loss of their properties.

The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) is to hold a meeting with Kerry County Council shortly in a bid to agree terms for land purchase for the South Kerry Greenway which will run from Glenbeigh to Valentia.

The council had already held meetings with the landowners. While a majority have reportedly agreed terms in principle, not all are satisfied.

The offer is €15,000 per acre for an outright purchase, or €10,000 plus an annual payment of €10 over a 99-year lease. However, local Independent Cllr Michael Cahill has demanded better terms.

“Some people involved might be losing only a small section of their property and the payment would, therefore, be very small, which would not in any way compensate them for what they will lose,” he said.

“I believe there should be an ongoing payment to all landowners in return for their agreeing to maintain their own sections of the greenway.

“It would be far preferable to get the land by agreement rather than compulsory purchase.”

Earlier this year, Environment Minister Alan Kelly announced €3.4m for the greenway but it did not cover land purchase, the cost of which is being met by the county council.

The council is spending around €500,000 from its own resources on acquiring the necessary land.

A council spokesman said any increase on the current offer would have serious implications for the ability of the council to complete the scheme within the funding available.

As well as being an amenity for the local communities, the greenway project along a disused railway line, and due to be completed by 2016, would boost money-spinning cycling-walking tourism.

The route runs along rolling countryside and skirts the hillside overlooking Dingle Bay.


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