An Bord Pleanála has approved an application for a new greenway from Carrigart to Downings.
Funding is now being sought to build the 2.6km footpath and cycle path, which will run alongside the R248.
There was disappointment last year when An Bord Pleanála turned down an application, but a long-awaited approval has been warmly welcomed today by Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh.
Deptuty McHugh said: “An Bord Pleanála have given the green light to the Downings-Carrigart Greenway application submitted by Donegal County Council.
“I would like to acknowledge the diligence of the officials at Donegal County Council in all the work they put into the submission which involved engagement with NPWS as well as other stakeholders over the last number of years. They put together a great case which has the green light now.
“I also want to acknowledge the local people who helped us get to this stage, including former Councillor Noel McBride who worked hard on this project, and Údarás na Gaeltachta who supported this process too.
“There is a funding application in at the moment and I would be confident that we are looking at funding early in the New Year now that we have the approval.”
Deputy McHugh added: “This is big news for a community who have been calling for this for a long number of years, because of increased tourism, increased demand for recreation in terms of walks, running and cycling in the area, and in terms of health and safety.
“It’s going to be a big addition, not alone to the parish, the villages of Carrigart and Downings, but for the region in terms of attracting more people to the area.
“I look forward to a successful funding application process now that everything is in order. Department officials are aware of this application and are aware of the challenges which faced this application over the years.”