At its second Community Day in Ballymahon Library, Center Parcs Chief Executive Martin Dalby provided residents with an update on how their proposed plan for the €200m Center Parcs village on the site at Newcastle Wood is progressing and shared a preliminary site layout.
Mr Dalby commented: “We have been actively engaging with the local community here since we announced our intention to bring Center Parcs to county Longford back in April.
“A large amount of survey and design work has taken place since we were last here, and we felt now was the right time to share our progress with the local community. We are delighted to be here to talk people through our initial thoughts on the layout of the site”.
Center Parcs proposed development in Newcastle Wood will create approximately 750 jobs during construction.
A key feature of the preliminary master layout is a 40m protected woodland buffer zone around the perimeter of the proposed site at Newcastle Wood.
This 40m belt of woodland will incorporate a new circular walking route, including a riverside walkway, so that the local community can continue to enjoy the forest at Newcastle Wood.
Once open and operational, the Center Parcs holiday village would have capacity for up to 2,500 guests and employ up to 1,000 people in permanent jobs.
Center Parcs explained to local residents and community groups that the company’s ecologically friendly development and design process starts as soon as the site is selected. Ecological surveys are undertaken immediately to assess the profile of the land and the woodlands.
Ecological surveys are ongoing at Newcastle Wood and are informing the proposed layout of the holiday village.
These surveys allow Center Parcs to ensure that rich woodlands are maintained and, where possible, will use existing paths and tracks so that construction causes as little disruption as possible to the natural environment.
Center Parcs only plan to build on approximately 10% of the total site meaning the majority of woodlands remain untouched.
Once construction is complete, Center Parcs undertakes an extensive programme of replanting of native species of trees and shrubs, emphasising the company’s green credentials.
A more detailed proposal for the site will be made available when the planning application is complete later this year.