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Tuesday 25 October 2016

Plans for €233m holiday resort for the midlands are lodged with council

Sam Griffin

Published 31/10/2015 | 02:30

An artist's impression of the new Center Parcs complex in Longford
An artist's impression of the new Center Parcs complex in Longford

Plans for the Center Parcs holiday resort for the midlands have been submitted to Longford County Council, with a decision to allow the development to go ahead due in around five weeks.

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The holiday village, located on a 395-acre site at Newcastle Woods, around five kilometres outside Ballymahon, is the first time Center Parcs has developed outside the UK. The company says the park will be a €1bn addition to Ireland's GDP over the next two decades.

More than 1,000 jobs will be created at the resort if it gets the green light from the council, with another 750 positions to be filled during the construction phase.

Center Parcs says another 300 jobs will be created in the area as part of a knock-on effect of the €233m development.

The plans are not accessible on the council's website yet, but the park will consist of 470 lodges and 30 apartments as well as a "subtropical swimming paradise".

A draft layout of the site has previously been shown as part of the consultation process Center Parcs engaged in with the public since the plans for the park were first announced in April. Included in the draft plans were pledges to protect the local environment and heritage, with specific references to a ringfort and an old herdsman's hut.

Center Parcs has also pledged that the "vast majority of the woodland will remain untouched", with buildings, roads, paths and cycle tracks occupying less than 10pc of the overall space.

CEO Martin Dalby said the park was one of the biggest developments "in the history of the midlands and will have a hugely positive economic impact on the area".

Longford County Council will now undertake a five-week period of consultation before a decision is made. If permission is granted , the resort could open in 2019.

Irish Independent

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