Sunday 11 December 2016

Center Parcs pledges to protect ringfort and hut at holiday resort village

Sam Griffin

Published 13/08/2015 | 02:30

Center Parcs operates sites across Europe and the UK
Center Parcs operates sites across Europe and the UK

Center Parcs has made a series of pledges to protect the local heritage and environment as the UK company revealed an early layout of its €200m holiday resort village in Co Longford.

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The firm has told locals it will protect a local ringfort, discovered following an archaeological survey of the 375 acre site which is located five kilometres from Ballymahon, and restore an old herdsman hut also located on the site. Three consultation meetings have now been held with local residents with the company, including its CEO Martin Dalby.

Center Parcs said plans for the holiday village "are progressing at pace" and planning permission will be lodged in late September or October following one final meeting with residents at which a more detailed layout of the site will be revealed.

As part of the development, the company says the "vast majority of the woodland will remain untouched" with buildings, roads, paths and cycle tracks occupying less than 10pc of the overall space.

There will also be a 60 metre 'no-build' buffer zone inside the perimeter of the site in a bid to protect the views from outside the village. In addition a new woodland walk will be developed which will be open to the public.

The plan also shows that additional land will be required to create a one kilometre-long private access road to eliminate risk of traffic congestion.

A spokesperson stressed the plans are still in the design phase and said nothing had been finalised.

He said the "remnants of a ringfort" were discovered following an archaeological survey while an old herdsman's hut will also be restored. Consultants from the company are also due to meet with the heritage protection agency An Taisce in the coming weeks.

Local Councillor Paul Ross said the company had "listened to all the concerns raised by locals and had allayed fears in relation to road management, walkways and impact on the area".

The village is due for completion in 2019 and will employ 1,750 people between construction and operation.

Irish Independent

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