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Longford awaits planning decision on massive €223m holiday resort

The €233 million resort is expected to bring over 1,000 jobs to the region. It would create around 750 jobs during the construction phase.

LOCALS IN LONGFORD are awaiting a Bord Pleanala decision today on whether the construction of a massive holiday resort has been given the green light.

The family resort operator Center Parcs revealed its plans last September, saying that it was planning its first holiday village outside of England in Newcastle Wood.

The €233 million resort is expected to bring over 1,000 jobs to the region. It would create around 750 jobs during the construction phase.

The holiday village would have capacity for up to 2,500 guests.

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If approved, it is expected to open in Ballymahon in 2019. The plans show the resort will have 470 lodges, 30 apartments, more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, a spa, restaurants, cafés and shops and a swimming area with water slides.

Longford County Council will be the first to be notified of today’s decisions, but the soundings are that the holiday village will be given the go ahead.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Fianna Fáil’s Robert Troy said all indications are the plans have been given the green light.

“It’s a no-brainer. It will be a big boost to the village. A 1,000 jobs to the village is significant boost in employment for the region,” he said.

Local councillor Mick Cahill told Shannonside radio that while they can’t preempt today’s decision, it would be a “major gamechanger” for the county.

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He said the council would be putting a plan in place to make sure it is ready for the development.

Center Parcs estimates that when operational, the new holiday village would add approximately €32 million to Irish GDP per annum and €1 billion over the next 20 years.

The company operates five short break destinations across the UK: Whinfell Forest, Cumbria; Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire; Elveden Forest, Suffolk; Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire and Longleat Forest, Wiltshire.

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