By Alan Walsh
Following the decision by An Bord Pleanála to uphold the planning permission granted by Longford County Council for the development of Center Parcs Longford Forest, Center Parcs CEO Martin Dalby says he is ‘looking forward to forging ahead’ with the €230m project.
Approximately 750 jobs will be created during the construction of Center Parcs Longford Forest at Newcastle Wood near Ballymahon and when operational it will employ up to 1,000 people in permanent jobs.
Commenting on the successful conclusion of the planning process, 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.”
He added, “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.”
Mr Dalby said Center Parcs Longford Forest will transform the midlands.
“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.”
Following today’s successful conclusion of the planning process, Center Parcs will now move to the procurement phase of the project which will be followed by construction.
Center Parcs is working towards an opening date in 2019.
Center Parcs Longford Forest will create approximately 750 jobs during construction. Once open, the forest holiday village will have capacity for up to 2,500 guests and employ up to 1,000 people in permanent jobs.
Many of these roles are expected to be filled by employees between the ages of 18 and 24, and the majority of employees are likely to live locally and in the surrounding midlands region.
Center Parcs estimates that, when operational, the new holiday village will add approximately €32 million to Ireland’s GDP per annum.
Center Parcs offers high quality short breaks in a secluded and natural woodland setting.
Center Parcs Longford Forest will epitomise the high quality features for which Center Parcs is renowned, including up to 500 lodges, designed with families and the environment in mind, more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, a spa, a range of restaurants and cafés and the iconic Subtropical Swimming Paradise, with water rides and fun for all ages.
Over the last 29 years, Center Parcs has exhibited a proven track record of taking commercial woodlands and, through careful forest management, transforming them into areas rich in biodiversity.
Center Parcs Longford Forest will have a dedicated team of Conservation Rangers who will protect and nurture the beautiful woodland.