Granard will not be downgraded to village status, says local councillor
Fears some of Longford’s largest urban centres could be downgraded under a new, long term strategic planning framework appear to have eased.
A draft spatial strategy is presently being drawn up by the East Midlands Regional Assembly aimed at underpinning future planning guidelines for counties like Longford going forward.
A special meeting of Longford County Council two weeks ago heard several local politicians voice their unease over the move.
It has also sparked unrest in some of those towns likely to be most affected with a public meeting being pencilled in by Granard Traders Association to discuss any proposed downgrading of the north Longford town as a result.
However, local Cllr PJ Reilly moved to dispel any lingering fears this week after holding fresh talks with senior Regional Assembly bosses over the weekend.
“I met with Jim Conway (Director) and Malachy Bradley (Assistant Director) and they have assured me that Granard will not be downgraded and that the wording (in draft plan) will be changed,” he said.
“Towns like Granard won’t be affected.” Cllr Reilly, who sits on the Assembly along with fellow Fianna Fáil Cllr Mick Cahill, said he was now hoping to secure those assurances in writing over the coming days.
It's also anticipated a detailed submission on behalf of Longford County Council will be tabled before today's (Wednesday) deadline.
At a previous meeting back in November, a number of local representatives took aim at how the measures were likely to affect future housing protocols.
“What this (draft plan) will do is bring us back to the dark days and the time of the ass and cart,” said Cllr Gerry Hagan.