Leyden ‘will oppose plans for Loughnaneane Turlough’

Fianna Fail Councillor Orla Leyden said that she will be opposing any proposals to develop upon Loughnaneane Turlough – known locally as The Lough. Developers have sought lands in Loughnaneane to be zoned ‘core town centre’ and ‘outer town centre ‘in the upcoming County Development Plan.    On February 11 th , councillors will meet to discuss the Draft County Development Plan when decisions will be made regarding zoning.    Cllr. Leyden said that as long as she is a councillor representing the people of Roscommon she will not support proposals that do not have the best interest of the community at heart.    Cllr. Leyden said that it was ludicrous for any developer to seek to have a Turlough developed upon. She said that it showed a flagrant disregard for this sensitive unique feature of Ireland, associated in particular with limestone areas and the west of Ireland.    Cllr. Leyden said that it is important that the new County Development Plan is forward-looking in terms of providing sufficient lands for residential, commercial and industrial use in order to further develop the county.    ‘It is vital,’ she added, ‘that lands are zoned in appropriate places. We are fortunate to have sufficient lands at our disposal to ensure that this happens.’    Cllr. Leyden added that in Roscommon Town we have a number of significant features including Loughnaneane Turlough, Roscommon Castle, Loughnaneane Park and Mote Park, among others. ‘These features need to be respected. Roscommon is a wonderful place to work, live, and play and it has huge yet untapped into potential in terms of tourism. Therefore it is important that we protect what is important in the interest of the community, while developing in a progressive manner’ she said.     Referring to the proposal to zone the St. Ciarans Park area of Roscommon Town with Objective 1 status, (meaning that a local area plan would be drawn up for the area, if it was zoned), Cllr. Leyden said that she would not be supporting this as St. Ciaran’s Park is a vibrant community.    ‘This is an area that people call their home, Objective 1 status should not be imposed on an area that wishes to continue operating as a residential area.’    Cllr. Leyden said that huge new commercial opportunities were opening up in town which is very positive, at Centre Point and the Mart among other locations, therefore it was not necessary for this Objective 1 proposal. Cllr. Leyden said in her opinion and in the opinion of the residents of St. Ciaran’s Park, this area should be zoned as existing residential instead.