Hopes of a gradual turnaround in the local construction industry were dealt a blow this week as latest figures revealed Co Longford’s building industry underwent a 14 per cent fall-off during the first six months of this year.
According to latest figures from the National Housing Construction Index, approximately 55 planning applications were submitted in Longford during the first six months of this year.
Despite the figure falling just nine short of the 64 recorded 12 months earlier, researchers at Link2Plans, who co-ordinated the study found this representated a decline of 14 per cent.
The same period also witnessed a 10 per cent decrease in the number of commencement notices issued in Longford.
In a surprising twist however, some of Longford’s neighbouring counties experienced a rise in building activity.
Both Westmeath and Cavan saw an average 15 per cent increase when compared to last year’s findings while Roscommon joined both Tipperary and Monaghan in suffering the largest downturn with depletion rates ranging between 39 and 29 per cent respectively.
Managing Director of Link2Plans, Danny O’Shea said the report provided noteworthy reading for those looking at trends on a county by county basis.
“The index is very interesting when we look at it on an all Island basis, as we see the real regional variations,” he said.
“There is a still a huge number of housing construction projects taking place, albeit those projects are on average smaller than in previous years. Across the island of Ireland, for the first six months of 2012, we have seen 10,287 individual residential projects apply for planning permission.”
In a more positive development, building work began on just 14 new Co Longford based housing units in the first four months of 2012.
New statistics released by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) showed this represented a 100 per cent or 7 unit increase on the same period during 2011.
The CIF’s latest Housing Statistics Bulletin found activity on 39 housing units got underway over a 12 month period until the end of April this year, fractionally down on the 41 which were recorded over the previous 12 months.
There was also an increase in the level of house completions in Longford during the first five months of 2012. Between January and May, 51 housing units were completed, compared with 32 during the same period in 2011.