IFA President Eddie Downey has called on Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe to work with IFA to develop a voluntary package of measures that facilitates the development of proposed Greenway projects while protecting farmers’ rights.
He said, “The Government plans to develop over 330km of Greenway tracks across the country over the next number of years. These projects have the potential to attract tourists and economic development to many rural areas”.
However, the IFA President said they will also significantly impact on farmers and may in some instances divide farm holdings. “This is leading to landowners firmly opposing the use of CPOs, which may have a negative impact on the long-term success of the greenways initiative. Therefore it is essential that a robust package of measures is put in place which recognises the inconvenience, severance and injurious affection caused and goodwill required.”
Eddie Downey has also called on local authorities to engage in this process with the Department of Transport and to reconsider plans to impose CPOs on landowners for non-critical infrastructure such as greenways and cycle tracks. “All sides must work towards delivering these Greenways based on voluntary agreements with farmers, similar to the successful walkway scheme.”