Permission granted: €232m Longford holiday resort gets the green light

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An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission for the Center Parcs holiday village in Co Longford.

The project is expected to create 750 jobs during construction over the next three years.

The development, which will have capacity for up to 2,500 guests, could also lead to an additional 1,000 permanent jobs once it opens in 2019.

Center Parcs, a UK-based holiday company, plans to build the €232m village on a 395-acre site in Newcastle Wood, near Ballymahon.

The facility will include up to 470 lodges and 30 apartments, a spa, and more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, including a water attraction. 

An Bord Pleanála approved planning permission with several conditions, including a requirement that the lodges not be occupied on a permanent basis. 

The board decided not to uphold a number of appeals lodged against the development after it was granted provisional approval by Longford County Council in March.

An artist's impression of the Newcastle Wood development | Image: Center Parks

In a statement, Martin Dalby, CEO of Center Parcs, said: “We warmly welcome approval from An Bord Pleanála to proceed with our plans to develop Center Parcs Longford Forest.

"Since we announced our desire to bring the Center Parcs experience to Ireland last April, we have been overwhelmed by the positive support we have received at both local and national level and we are looking forward to forging ahead to bring our plans to fruition. 

"We outlined from day one the transformative impact that Center Parcs Longford Forest will have on the midlands region in both tourism and economic terms. 

"We will continue to work closely with all stakeholders over the coming years to realise this significant potential and, ultimately, to bring our unique short break experience to life for families throughout Ireland.”

The company, which operates five short-break destinations across the UK, estimates that the new Longford village will add around €32m to the Irish economy once operational. 
 

Catherine Healy, Newstalk.com 

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