A delegation from the Irish Farmers’ Affiliation (IFA) met with executives from Cork and Waterford county councils this week to debate farmer considerations across the Mallow-Dungarvan Greenway challenge.
The assembly additionally included Atkins Consultants, the agency concerned in designing the greenway challenge.
The proposed 74km greenway is about to attach Dungarvan in Co. Waterford to Mallow in Co. Cork, linking the cities and villages of Cappoquin; Lismore; Ballyduff; Clondulane; Fermoy; Ballyhooly; and Killavullen.
It’s proposed that the route of the challenge will observe the outdated Dungarvan to Mallow railway line.
The IFA delegation was led by the affiliation’s setting chairperson Paul O’Brien, and included North Cork Govt chairperson Pat O’Keefe and Waterford County Govt chairperson John Heffernan.
They had been joined by the environmental representatives from each county executives – Tony Mullins (North Cork) and John Joe Byrne (Waterford).
Talking after the assembly, O’Brien mentioned it had been “very helpful”, with the IFA outlining to the challenge group the fears and considerations of farmers within the space, who’re frightened over the impression the greenway could have on their farm companies.
The challenge group up to date the IFA on the feasibility examine that it’s presently finishing up for the event.
This examine is predicted to be finalised by quarter one (Q1) of 2023. Earlier than that there will likely be a second public session in November and December this yr.
The ultimate report, when launched, is predicted to incorporate a most popular route and full price evaluation.
The IFA highlighted that many of the outdated railway line that may kind the route of the greenway is now not in public possession and components of it have been bought by farmers over time.
“Many farmers now personal and use the railway line as a part of their farms, with many developments round non-public homes and farmyards.
“This makes the challenge rather more complicated in comparison with utilizing a railway line or different land that’s in public possession,” O’Brien highlighted.
The IFA group mentioned that it was against any breakup of farmland or obligatory buy orders (CPOs) for amenity tasks corresponding to greenways.
“The IFA has negotiated a code of finest follow for greenways with the federal government and each of those points are effectively flagged within the code,” O’Brien mentioned.
“[Breakup] of farmland needs to be averted the place in any respect potential and voluntary land buy agreements must take precedent over CPOs.”
In keeping with the IFA, the challenge group mentioned that it will be implementing the code of finest follow by way of this challenge.
Different points the farm organisation raised throughout the assembly included the lack of farmer privateness; land crossings; litter; the potential of animal illness and welfare points; and the appointment of an unbiased agronomist that may be out there to farmers.
“Full and correct session with farmers is important to develop any infrastructural challenge. I’d warning the challenge promoters to not make the identical mistake as another county councils on greenway tasks, the place they’ve misplaced the arrogance of the farmer landowners,” O’Brien argued.