Wednesday 25 July 2012

Longford's €1m centre plans hit hurdle

LONGFORD County Board have been forced back to the drawing board again with their proposed €1m Centre of Excellence at Killashee.

An Bord Pleanala has now raised questions about the drainage on the site that Longford has proposed for its new HQ, comprising three all-weather pitches with floodlights and a clubhouse and car-park.

Longford were forced to submit a second planning application for the project after the initial one was turned down on three separate grounds.

They then received planning permission after submitting a new clubhouse design and pitch layout. But, on foot of another objection, questions have been raised about the site's suitability, with an inspector for Bord Pleanala reporting that he's "not convinced" the plan will not increase flooding risk in the area.

Engineers working for Longford County Board propose to strip the topsoil and lay a base of 320mm for the pitches to rest on, but the inspector questioned the stability of these pitches when so little excavation is proposed and when the local water table is so high.

An Bord Pleanala have given the county board until September 6 to address the latest problems. The issue was discussed at Wednesday's County Executive meeting and Longford County Board released a statement yesterday, saying "An Bord Pleanala are seeking clarification/greater detail on only one specific area of our application.

"Our planning consultants, design team, etc are dealing with this matter on our behalf. Members of our management committee have met with them and they are quite confident that the issues raised by the Bord can be addressed to everyone's satisfaction."

The planning delays are reportedly not increasing the costs substantially because Longford bought the land out of their own resources and have no borrowings on the project yet.

- Cliona Foley

Read the article @ The Irish Independent

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