Center Parcs Planning Approval calls for a link to the Royal Canal Greenway

Now that planning permission is granted, it is hoped that Longford Forest can be linked to the Royal Canal Greenway. According to planning documents seen by this blog, a new off road cycle link between Newcastle Woods and the Royal Canal Greenway is being considered as part of the development of the Center Parcs holiday park.

The decision to grant planning permission, subject to 22 conditions was announced this week. The planning grant included a clause that Center Parcs will have to provide almost €1 million (€951,420) to Longford County Council as a contribution to the upgrading of public infrastructure in the area of the development. Furthermore, details of the planning conditions specifically calls for a off road cycle link to the Royal Canal.

This decision to grant permission is welcomed by campaigners for the Royal Canal Greenway and is a vote of confidence in the work carried out by Longford Council so far. Longford Council have developed the Royal Canal Greenway as far as Abbeyshrule and are planning to bring the canal cycleway to the junction of the Royal Canal and the N55 by Summer 2016. Campaigners are calling for funding to be provided to complete the cycleway all the way to Longford Town and thereby joining with the Longford to Clondra greenway and possible connections to the Mayo Greenway and the Greenways planned in Leitrim.


  1. Longford Council have NOT developed the greenway to Abbeyshrule. It stops at the Westmeath county boundary. There is a further 1 km of existing roadway past the airfield. From Abbeyshrule on the bulk of the pathway is barely fit for walking particularly in wet conditions. There are two junctions between the canal and the N55. Only the second one (involving an extra 1.6 km of pathway) at Toome is suitable for access to Newcastle and will still involve crossing the N55 by bike and using a further 2km of public road. Direct off road link wiil require either a bridge over the N55 or over the River Inny.

    1. The route along the royal canal around Ballymahon WAS simply breathtaking & picturesque. Now, after all that 'work' done, it looks like something from the outskirts of a city. No character. Why is it so necessary to sterilize nature? The pathways were perfectly accessible on foot and on bicycle. Maybe you got a little muddy if it rained - that's what being OUTSIDE involves. Being out doors should mean escaping the man-made and enjoying our natural environment.There are no free spaces anymore. Not of theres some money to be made along the way it seems

  2. Hi Arthur, Thanks for the comments. When is the last time you visited the route in question. Longford CoCo completed work in November to bring the canal cycle path to Abbeyshrule ( Sources in the council have said that they hope to bring the cycleway to the N55. I think the local people are pushing for a bridge to be reopened over the Inny and this could become part of a direct off-road link to the canal. If you have further details please email me as I would like to provide as accurate information as possible


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