Agreement reached on Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways
Tom Considine, Independent Chair of the working group for the Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways welcomes the recent agreement by all parties on a Code of Best Practice following two-and-a-half years of consultation and deliberation. Developing a Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways in a consultative and proactive manner was a commitment in the Strategy for the Future Development of National and Regional Greenways published by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTT&S) in July 2018.
In June 2019 a working group was convened to devise the Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways. The working group comprised representatives from the Department of Transport, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), Irish Farmers Association (IFA), Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), Irish Cattle & Sheep Farmers Association (ICSA), Department of Rural and Community Development, Sports Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, a Rural Recreational Officer and representatives from the local authorities that worked together to agree a final Code of Best Practice.
The Independent Chair outlined that collaboration between all stakeholders enabled the development of a Code of Best Practice that will ensure the National and Regional Greenways programme can be implemented efficiently under an agreed Code of Best Practice.
The Code of Best Practice provides comprehensive information for landowner/property owners, project promoters and other stakeholders. It contains an innovative approach to land acquisition involving early engagement with landowners/property owners to facilitate the acquisition of land by Voluntary Land Acquisition Agreements enabling the landowner/property owners to avail of a greenway sustainability payment for their early engagement and cooperation. Securing cooperation of Landowner/Property owners and acquiring lands by voluntary agreements was inherent throughout the development of the code. The agreed Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways outlines the procedures and processes for landowner/property owners to be treated fairly throughout the development of Greenways.
The Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways addresses all elements of a Greenway Project, from inception to completion detailing recommendations for each stage from Consultation, Route Options, Design, Environmental Assessment, Land Acquisition and payment structure, provision of accommodation works, provision of Agronomists, Construction work including supervision during construction works, reinstatement work and maintenance work.
The detail contained within the Code of Best Practice for National and Regional Greenways reflects the in-depth discussions that took place over two-and-a-half years between members of the working group and reflects the needs of all stakeholders. The Code of Best Practice will assist in the delivery of National and Regional Greenways in a smooth and timely manner ensuring that users can enjoy and experience the greenway in a safe and secure way.
The Independent Chair thanks all those involved in the working group for their extensive time and expertise; and acknowledges the courtesy and mutual respect shown by all stakeholders throughout the process.