The IFA has said it is committed to working with all agencies to develop a voluntary land acquisition agreement strategy for amenity projects such as greenways and in turn avoid the need for a compulsory purchase order (CPO).
The comments come following the decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permission to the South Kerry Greenway.
Chairman of Kerry IFA Pat O’Driscoll said that while he recognised the importance of the greenway in terms of the potential for agri-tourism and economic activity in rural areas, consultation did not take place in this instance.
“Consultation delivers on the requirement in the National Greenways Strategy that local authorities must adopt a proactive manner with potentially affected landowners that maximises their support and goodwill towards a proposed greenway.”
IFA national environment chair Paul O’Brien said the approach in south Kerry had been more adversarial.
“They did not value the goodwill of the farmers and sought to impose the statutory legal process. They also failed to engage agronomists at the route design stage. This episode will lead to a new approach for greenways that would avoid CPOs.
“Kerry County Council engaged in a constructive co-design approach on the Tralee to Fenit greenway and the Abbeyfeale to Listowel greenway in north Kerry, which was based on goodwill and consultation.”
The IFA has called on future greenway projects to work with a voluntary land acquisition strategy and adhere to an agreed code of practice.