Kerry County Council outlined its application for a greenway cycle and walkway through small farms and towns along the old railway line skirting the N70 Ring of Kerry in south
Kerry, which was announced in 2014, but which has still to be constructed.
The proposed South Kerry Greenway will rise from sea level to 100m over Dingle Bay, providing “an iconic world class experience,” council representatives told An Bord Pleanála’s oral hearing into the planning and compulsory purchase applications. They said it is “much more than an amenity,” and would arrest the ongoing decline of the area.
The council said yesterday that it has fully consulted with landowners and is still waiting to hear from 45 out of 160 agricultural holdings which have not completed a survey.
The 32km route seeks to follow the old railway line —apart from a few locations including where houses have been built along the line which was “abandoned” in 1960, and Cahersiveen town, where carriageways are to be upgraded for cyclists and walkers.
Designed for 1,500 cyclists and walkers a day at peak periods like August, the greenway will welcome almost 45,000 people a month, the hearing into the planning and compulsory purchase order process for the greenway in Tralee was told.
A 3m paved carriageway — with verges, five car parks, and toilet facilities — is to be built. Two protected railway structures — Cahersiveen railway bridge and the Gleensk Viaduct — as well as the Drung Hill tunnels, will be repaired.
A bridge and boardwalk are among new structures in the design. Rock armour and sea walls must also be used to halt coastal erosion taking place now, Kerry County Council executive engineer and project manager Conor Culloo outlined.
Mitigation measures by way of screening off the fewer than 30 residential properties affected by the greenway are proposed.