Councillors in Cork and Waterford have been briefed on the progress of the Dungarvan-Mallow Greenway project.

Dungarvan-Mallow Greenway on track

Elected members of Cork County Council

The councillors, along with elected members of Waterford City and County Council, were updated on the emerging preferred route on Monday with a view to a public consultation beginning in June.

The briefing was held to provide an update on the scheme and to preview the upcoming stakeholder consultation process. The meeting covered a number of items including 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 the project, as well as integration with 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. As part of the consultation, 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, Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Danny Collins said it was “heartening” to see such progress being made on the 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 our project team to bring this vision to life,” he said.

Sean Callery, Senior Engineer, National Roads Design Office, added: “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.”

The project’s immediate next steps involve meeting with landowners whose land may be impacted on a 1-on-1 basis to explain the process, with a further round of public consultation scheduled for June.