Saturday 21 April 2018

Longford's €3m plan blocked

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

LONGFORD GAA officials will consult with experts over the next week to plan their next move after being stunned by An Bord Pleanala's decision to refuse planning permission for a proposed €3m Centre of Excellence.

The centre at Lyneen, Killashee, was to have been Longford's big investment in their GAA future, but they must now return to the drawing board to see if it's possible to rescue the project.

"The An Board Pleanala decision is a major disappointment. At the very least it will set us back 18 months," said County Board chairman, Pat Cahill. "We now have to sit down with our own planning experts and see how best to proceed from here."

An Bord Pleanala found that the proposed development, which included three full-size training pitches, a two-storey clubhouse, plus various other facilities would "adversely affect the high amenity and landscape quality" of the area.

Flooding

The risk of flooding in adjacent areas was also cited as a problem as were plans for the management of traffic. Longford County Council had granted conditional planning for the project.

Cahill said that the County Board were very disappointed by the planning refusal as they believed they had met all the conditions.

However, a new plan will be re-submitted following consultation with experts.

"We have to press ahead as best we can. We badly need a Centre of Excellence in Longford where all our teams can work and develop," Cahill continued.

"We're a small county with a small population so we have to do our best to keep up with modern trends.

"The centre would have been a huge help to us, but obviously we now have to look at all the options and try to make sure we get planning permission

"Apart altogether from the loss to our various squads, it's a setback to the local economy that the building of the centre has been delayed. It would have created good employment at a time when it's badly needed in the county."

Irish Independent

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