An agreement in principle on an extension of the gas network to Longford town is almost complete with Government ready to sign off on the deal.
Longford/Westmeath Independent Alliance TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said, “Over the last nine months, I have been working with Energy Minister, Denis Naughten, Longford County Council, Center Parcs and Gas Networks Ireland in trying to secure a connection for gas between Athlone and Longford. Both myself and Minister Naughten are proposing a transmission line from Athlone that will be able to serve Center Parcs as well as Longford.”
Last July, Center Parcs was granted planning permission to build the proposed 395-acre Village, at Ballymahon to be called Longford Forest and is expected to be built by 2019.
“The benefit of gas opens up immediate growth potential for Longford in terms of economic expansion for local businesses but also for those interested in future inward investment to Longford town,” said Deputy Moran.
“There has been very constructive engagement with Minister Naughten, as this is a priority for the Minister and for the government.
“On foot of very positive discussions with Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Donohue it is now subject to a decision of the regulator (Commission of Energy Regulation) and Gas Networks Ireland,” said Deputy Moran
“Both I and Minister Naughten have had a number of meetings with Centre Parcs as they ramp up their plans with the awarding of major infrastructure contract this week. to which will comprise earthworks, road and path networks, utilities, drainage system, the lake and building platforms.”
Deputy Moran added that development works are expected to begin in May, with work on the holiday village set for completion in two years.
“Both Minister Naughten and I firmly believe that the gas network should be developed generally in rural Ireland to provide natural gas to as many areas as possible while such expansions would have several additional benefits concerning reduction of carbon emissions and reduction in fossil fuel use,” said Deputy Moran.