Following the announcement by TII and Limerick County Council of the preferred route for the Cork to Limerick motorway, IFA Environment Chairman Paul O’ Brien said farmers impacted by the project along the route face significant upheaval and need certainty regarding compensation and the timelines for the project.
He said this is a top-class, highly productive agricultural area and the new road development will have a serious impact on farmers.
Paul O Brien said farmers and landowners in the area are operating under an unacceptable cloud of uncertainty since the road development was first mooted back in the late 1990’s, almost 25 years ago. “That’s a very long time to be held up in terms of developing your farm and your business. This has taken the best years away from some farmers along the route.”
“This project has been turned on and off by the politicians and developers many times. Farmers were left living under a sterilised planning freeze where they were prevented from undertaking developments on their farms. This is a major restriction to impose for a long period of time in a very productive and progressive farming area.”
Paul O Brien called on Cork and Limerick County Councils to immediately fast track any planning applications for farmers who are not on the preferred route. He said the postponement and delays on farmyard and enterprise developments has had a very costly impact on some farmers in the area.
The IFA Environment Chairman said now that the wider preferred route had been identified, it was essential that there was early and intensive consultation with the impacted landowners.
In addition, Paul O Brien said all farmers and landowners impacted in any way by the development must be fully and fairly compensated. He said this must also include a new and improved goodwill payment for early sign-on/access and co-operation with the project.
An online public display platform has been developed on the project website www.corklimerick.ie.
A number of public online webinars will be hosted by the project team on April 6th and 13th, with further details available on the project website.
Paul O Brien said on behalf of farmers, the IFA will also be engaging with the project developers to ensure that farmers and landowners are treated equitably and fairly as well as fully compensated for all and any losses.