Center Parcs plans lodged for €233m Longford holiday village

Leisure group claims scheme opening in 2019 will create 1,000 jobs and add 4% to local economy

Artist’s impression of the planned resort at Newcastle Wood, Co Longford: The plan envisages building 500 chalets on the 375-acre site in the midlands. Photograph: PA

Artist’s impression of the planned resort at Newcastle Wood, Co Longford: The plan envisages building 500 chalets on the 375-acre site in the midlands. Photograph: PA

 

A planning application for the €233 million Center Parcs project has been formally submitted to Longford County Council.

The UK-based leisure group confirmed the application to develop Center Parcs Longford Forest on a 395-acre site at Newcastle Wood, 5km from Ballymahon, was lodged on Friday.

It will be one of the biggest tourism developments in the history of the State.

Center Parcs announced in April that it had selected Longford as the proposed location for its first holiday village in Ireland.

If granted permission, the scheme would open in 2019 to provide forest breaks in “a secluded and natural Irish woodland setting”, the company said.

The company claims the project would add €1 billion to Ireland’s GDP over a 20-year period, that it would add 4 per cent to Longford’s GDP during construction and a further 2.8 per cent annually when up and running.

Some 470 lodges and 30 apartments would be situated on the site, with more than 100 indoor and outdoor activities, a spa, restaurants and cafés, shops, a swimming pool and water rides.

A total of 750 jobs would be created during construction, with 1,000 permanent jobs on offer once the holiday village opened, Center Parcs said.

It expected the project would attract 250,000 visitors to Longford every year, amounting to a five-fold increase in the total number of tourists visiting the county.

Group chief executive Martin Dalby said the submission of the planning application was “a key milestone in our ambition to bring Center Parcs to Ireland”.

“This is one of the biggest tourism developments in the history of the midlands and will have a hugely positive economic impact on the area. We have more than 28 years’ experience in the UK, and I’m genuinely excited about the prospect of bringing that quality short break experience to Ireland.”

The company said it had engaged in “extensive and ongoing” consultation with the local community.

Plans for the project will be on public display at the offices of Longford County Council during the five-week consultation period.