Landowners along a proposed new 6 km greenway that will run from Westport out to Croagh Patrick in Murrisk, are strongly opposed to the “preferred route” of the development.

The local landowners have formed an opposition group  - Threat to Belclare to Murrisk Community - and are challenging the proposed route of this section of the Clew Bay Greenway.

The group insists that there has been no meaningful consultation with them- the 42 landholders along the proposed route - by either Mayo County Council or Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Midwest News Editor Teresa O’Malley was in Westport to look at the proposed route and to talk to some of the landowners affected.

Today (Thursday) is the final day for public submissions on the two proposed routes for this proposed cycleway / greenway

The local landowners that Midwest News spoke to believe a better route option for the new greenway is a second option on the table by consultants Barry and Partners, the consultants working for TII and MCC, and that is to upgrade the existing cycleway, which runs from Westport to the village of Murrisk along the main Westport to Louisburgh road (R335).

The now “preferred route” of the consultants, however, is a proposed 10 meter wide tarred path along a route that would pass through farmland, people’s back doors, forests, through a flood plain and run along Mayo’s Holy Mountain – Croagh Patrick.

They claim that representatives of the TII informed them, as landowners, at a recent public meeting that it can use CPOs (compulsory purchase orders) to acquire the required land, if forced to do so.

The landowners have a number of unanswered questions… like who wants this cycleway along this particular route? And why no cost analysis has been presented on the proposal. Most people will be well aware of the great work underway on Croagh Patrick to enhance the climbing route / the pilgrim path, but all that work has had to be done without “mechanical intervention”, in other words manually– and a big question is how work on this proposed cycleway that will transverse the holy mountain happen under such constraints?

Midwest News spoke to some Threat to Belclare to Murrisk Community members  in Westport  - three landowners Peter Shanley, Michael Foy, and  Patrick McGreal together with local independent councillor Johno O’Malley.

Peter began by outlining how landowners had learnt about this proposed greenway along this particular route…

 

Midwest News contacted Berry and Partners the consultants on the proposed routes for a response but they referred us on to Mayo County Council. We also sought a response from both the CEO of Mayo County Council  -  Mr Kevin Kelly,  and the TII, and we are awaiting responses.

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