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25 Jun 2022

Ardagh House and the Ardagh Neighbourhood Park under threat of rezoning

Ardagh House and the Ardagh Neighbourhood Park under threat of rezoning

During the Second Stage Public Consultation of the Draft Longford County Development Plan 2021-2027, a submission was made to re-zone Ardagh House and the two gate lodges from ‘Tourism’ to ‘Residential’. 

It also asked for the lands of Ardagh Demesne to be re-zoned from ‘Tourism’ to ‘Agriculture’.

Longford County Council Chief Executive has recommended the re-zoning be approved by Longford councillors.

Ardagh Village is a multi-award-winning heritage village and is one of two Architectural Conservation Areas in Longford. 

The extensive (re)designing of the demesne and village carried out by James Rawson Carroll in the early 1860s allows Ardagh to boast the very unusual for Ireland claim of being a planned village.

Ardagh House is considered to have been built during the 1730s.  The current gate lodges, the West Lodge and the Villa Maria Lodge, were constructed c. 1863 and formed part of the overall work led by James Rawson Carroll. 

379 structures are listed in the ‘Record of Protected Structures in County Longford excluding Longford Town’. Of them, 46 (12.2%) of the structures are in Ardagh, and 14 (3.7%) of them are part of Ardagh Demesne. 

Ardagh House and the two gate lodges are listed in the Record of Protected Structures.

Landed estates, heritage, and/or protected structures across the country have successfully shown the key roles they play in encouraging (domestic) tourism and providing employment opportunities.

In 1989, four acres of land were donated by two landowners to the Ardagh Tidy Town’s Committee. Dr. Christy Boylan, the former President of the Tree Council of Ireland, oversaw the planning and design of the Ardagh Neighbourhood Park.

However, when Ardagh Demesne was sold in 2012, the Ardagh Neighbourhood Park was included in the sale. As such, should the Longford councillors approve the re-zoning, there is a real and substantial risk access to the park would be lost. And the trees that form this mature woodland felled. 

The Ardagh Neighbourhood Park is a vital community amenity. It has been enjoyed by community residents and thousands of visitors to Ardagh for over thirty years. Its loss would be devastating. 

The Third Stage Public Consultation of the Draft Longford County Development Plan 2021-2027 closes next Tuesday, the 10th of August, at 16:00 (4pm). 

Submissions/observations can be made online at  www.longfordcoco.ie/cdp  or by email to cdp@longfordcoco.ie

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