6 March 2023
By Tom Collins
Elected members of Cork County Council and Waterford City and County Council were briefed today on the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) for the Dungarvan-Mallow Greenway, with a view to a further public consultation on the Greenway taking place from June.
Today, elected members of Cork County Council and Waterford City and County Council were briefed on the Emerging Preferred Route (EPR) for the Dungarvan-Mallow Greenway (Phase 2). The briefing was held to provide an update on the progress of the scheme and to preview the upcoming stakeholder consultation process. The meeting covered a study overview, progress to-date, programme and next steps, followed by a question and answer session.
The project team is working on delivering a new greenway between Dungarvan and Mallow with the vision of creating a tourism experience that supports the economic development of the region. The restoration and utilisation of historic infrastructure and links to local population centres, sports pitches, and schools were considered as part of this study, as well as integrationwith facilities along the Blackwater River such as trails, loop walks, and schools.
Both Councils were presented with the emerging preferred route, project programme, and the landowner engagement plan for Councillors’ feedback.
The initial public consultation in March and April 2022 saw 29,700 notices delivered, with over 800 responses received. Councillors were reminded of the key themes that emerged from the community around the potential impacts of the proposed project on residents, safety and security, environment, and businesses and farms.
Speaking after the briefing, North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea thanked the project team and said;
“It is heartening to see such progress being made on the Dungarvan-Mallow Greenway project. This greenway has the potential to transform our region, not only as a world-class tourism and recreational destination but also as a way to support economic development and promote healthy living for our citizens. I look forward to continuing to work with the project team to bring this vision to life.”
Also speaking about this important development, Sean Callery, Senior Engineer, National Roads Design Office reflected;
“The Dungarvan-Mallow Greenway has the potential to create a positive impact on the surrounding communities, not only by boosting local businesses and promoting healthy living but also by bringing people together through a shared experience, which is so vital. The restoration of historic infrastructure locally will help deepen the sense of community pride and identity that has long existed for the people of Cork and Waterford.”
Cllr. O’Shea added;
“It is very encouraging to see the next phase of the Dungarvan to Mallow greenway extension come to fruition. Greenways in general have long been embraced by the public and the benefits are far-reaching. The economic benefits to local businesses are evident with the arrival of more visitors to the local areas. Greenways also have a cohesive effect on communities and the improvements to people’s health and well-being goes without saying, as more and more of us have access to safer recreational amenities.”
Immediate next steps involve meeting with landowners, whose land may be impacted, on a one-on-one basis to explain the process and a further round of public consultation is scheduled to take place in June.