Blow for Longford Plaza plans as transport chiefs lodge objection

TII bosses call on Council to turn down multi million euro development

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Pat McDonagh

Supermacs founder Pat McDonagh plans to bring a multi-million euro 'Barack Obama' style plaza to Longford town

Plans by the head of Ireland's largest fast food chain to develop a multi-million euro plaza in Longford town have been dealt a blow after the state agency in charge of the country's national road network lodged an objection to its construction.

Supermac's boss Pat McDonagh submitted plans at the beginning of last month with a view to developing a service station, retail unit, food court and drive-through restaurant on the Ballinalee Road in Longford town.

ALSO READ: Supermac's to lodge plans for Obama-style plaza in Longford town

However, it has now emerged Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the state agency responsible for the country's national road and public transport infrastructure has registered its opposition to the plan.

In a detailed submission received by Longford County Council in recent days, the body claims the proposal is "at variance" with official policy in relation to the control of development on/affecting national roads as outlined in the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government (DoECLG) Spatial Planning and National Roads Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2012).

It also cites a number of reasons why it believes the plans for the Longford Plaza development will "adversely affect" the operation and safety of the national road network.

Among them include concerns related to official DoECLG policy on access to national roads and the provision of service areas.

TII officials also insist there are "serious deficiencies" in a Traffic and Transport Assessment (TTA) carried out as part of the proposal.

In its summation, the agency says the proposed development has not demonstrated compliance with the agreed development framework for the area, adding it would be amenable to holding further talks with Longford County Council bosses over the matter.

The reservations outlined by TII follow those of local architect Liam Madden at the end of last month, who claimed the development put forward by Mr McDonagh would lead to chronic obesity problems.

ALSO READ: Longford's version of Obama Plaza will only serve to create 'fat arses', insists local architect

In an extensive observation, Mr Madden said the development would only serve to contribute to the create “big fat arses”, adding that Longford "can well do without this fatty food factory."

A decision on the Longford Plaza proposal is expected to be made by Longford County Council by the end of the month.