25 May 2022

Ambitious plans to transform Longford

Economic boost: County's recovery continues

File photo

The continued upturn in Longford's economic recovery has taken another step in the right direction this week, thanks to a raft of large scale and ambitious planning developments.

Arguably the biggest of those came last week following confirmation of Longford County Council's acquisition of Longford Greyhound Track.

Details surrounding the deal comes two months after it was revealed that council chiefs had identified the site as a key infrastructural target in which to further those ambitions.

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Peggy Nolan expressed her delight at the news and urged council officials to now focus on making the track a key cornerstone in underpinning Longford's walking and cycling greenways.

This is a perfect opportunity for us to solidify what we already have so that people can cycle all the way down from Kildare and come into Longford town," she said.

The site had previously courted some concern locally that it could be used for commercial or large scale residential development despite it being zoned for recreational use.

Cllr Nolan said her primary concern was to ensure Longford and its citizens procure an "economic dividend" from its purchase for years to come.

"It was something I promised when I was elected (cathaoirleach) that I wouldn't stand back from and now we have it in our ownership," she said.

In a separate development, Longford Westmeath Education and Training Board (LWETB) are currently readying plans to carry out a significant redevelopment of Longford's Connolly Barracks.

In plans seen by this newspaper, education chiefs have signalled their intention to construct a new two storey extension to the rear of the campus' former ordnance building while also changing its usage to one designed for educational use.

The plans also provide for demolition works, entrance gates and a new designated pedestrian access route along with accompanying public lighting.

In Edgeworthstown, plans for a major housing development and healthcare facility have been lodged with local authority planning officials.

Applicant, Ferghal Sheridan is hoping to be given the go-ahead to proceed with the development in the Chapel Lane area of the town.

The proposed development includes the construction of twenty dwellings, consisting four single storey two bedroom dwellings and sixteen two storey three bedroom dwellings.

A decision on the application is expected to be made by March 17.

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