The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, has stated that infrastructure upgrades required for the planned Center Parcs holiday village near Ballymahon are a national priority, and indicated that gas pipeline connectivity could be among the services needed.
“This is not just a huge deal for County Longford and the broader midlands, this is a real national priority,” said the Minister following a meeting with Longford County Council officials and public representatives at Áras an Chontae.
Acknowledging the necessity of these upgrades, he added: “I’m aware of particular road needs that have to be addressed, and then there’s particular needs in relation to gas and electricity.
“And while we do have to balance this off against demands we have from all over the country, the Government, my own department, and all the State agencies will do the best we can to make sure that Center Parcs gets the support it needs not just to be a success in Longford, but to be a success within our broader country,” he continued.
“Center Parcs is a very, very valuable employer to have come into Ireland and they offer us one of the best chances we’re going to have for quite a while to increase the number of Irish people who want to stay at home on holidays, particularly young families with kids who want outdoor activities and want to be able to have their own space in which to have their holiday.”
However, Minister Donohoe added that a detailed plan cannot be made until Center Parcs submits its planning application, and that upgrades will be carried out in phases.
“Your local authority is dealing with them (Center Parcs) in advance of the planning application going in. When that work is done, we as a Government will then get a clearer idea of the particular gas or electricity needs that we have to address.
“How we do it will be a decision for the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and Minister Alex White. After my visit here today, I’ll certainly raise with him the fact that this need is likely to develop, and in order to deliver the jobs and the boost that Longford and the midlands needs, we have to meet that energy need.”