Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Center Parcs CEO Martin Dalby at the sod turning ceremony in Ballymahon in September 2017
The Judge’s comments came after he granted a declaratory order in respect of the holiday village following a hearing during which the company’s legal team made an application to secure the order.
“It is wonderful to see such a brilliant development taking place not only in the heart of Longford but in the heart of Ireland too,” the Judge added.
“The fact that Center Parcs will employ 1,000 people when it is up and running is something else.”
Meanwhile Judge Johnson also heard that the declaratory order - a statement by a judge that they are satisfied that the use of a device, technique or procedure, or the carrying out of an activity, specified in the order is, in the circumstances of the use or the carrying out of the activity specified in the order, reasonable and lawful - while unusual, was necessary so the company could obtain a holiday camp licence under the Tourist Traffic Act 1992.
The order, Counsel for Center Parcs Ms Cassidy BL argued, would allow Longford Forest to get licensing approval “in principal”.
The court was also told that intoxicating liquor would be sold in conjunction with food, and in a safe and controlled environment at Center Parcs Longford Forest.
Judge Keenan Johnson then heard that plans at the south Longford forest were on schedule for completion in 2019 and at least 1,000 people would be employed at the 404.9 acre site in Newcastle Wood in Ballymahon thereafter.
The court heard too this morning, that, the company is forecasting 80% of that workforce will be from a 20 km radius of Ballymahon.
“Center Parcs Longford Forest will be of enormous benefit to the local economy and the country as a whole,” added Ms Cassidy, before pointing out it was now envisaged that after 20 years of operation the Longford development would contribute €1bn to the Irish economy.
Following his deliberations, Judge Johnson said he was satisfied that all matters in respect of the application were in order and he subsequently granted the declaratory order.
For more on this story, see next week’s Longford Leader on sale Wednesday!
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