Expresses reservations about any rezoning of Edenville House
A second Roscommon Municipal District county councillor has gone public on the issue of the fate of the landmark Edenville House/Black’s House in Roscommon town.
In March this year, Cllr. Orla Leyden voiced strong opposition to any move by Roscommon County Council to have the property rezoned for social housing purposes.
Now Cllr. Anthony Waldron, while indicating he has yet to reach a definitive view on the zoning issue, has expressed reservations about the mooted future use of the property for housing.
Cllr. Waldron says Roscommon’s heritage and historical assets ought to be developed from a tourism perspective.
“While I appreciate the need for more social housing, I’m inclined to think that there must be alternative sites (that could be developed)”.
Cllr. Waldron said he has already engaged with locals in the Lisnamult area and will continue to discuss the issue with interested parties.
The next chapter for Edenville House in Lisnamult, Roscommon is under the spotlight this year amidst speculation that the Council is eager to rezone the site.
Edenville House is a protected structure which dates from 1702, when it was built as a Cavalry Barracks. It is a heritage site with recognised important historical significance.
According to Cllr. Orla Leyden, Roscommon County Council recently asked Roscommon Municipal District councillors to consider a change of zoning from Community and Education to Housing so that an approved body can develop housing in Edenville House and on the general site, through a material contravention of the Town Plan.
Roscommon Town Team has been quick to point out that the group has spent a number of years working on plans to develop the community and educational potential of the property. A working group submitted a proposal to Roscommon County Council in 2022, outlining their vision for the site, which includes a regional centre of excellence for the circular economy, sustainable development, local heritage, and crafts.
Roscommon Town Team said: “This building and grounds are a huge asset to Roscommon town and the proposal by the Edenville working group offers a future that incorporates a much-needed community space for locals”.
In March of this year, Cllr. Leyden came out strongly against any rezoning. She described Edenville House as “a rich cultural and heritage asset” and said the existing proposal by Roscommon Town Team that it be developed as a visitor attraction is a much better idea than the rezoning suggestion.
Cllr. Leyden said she will categorically oppose any proposal to remove the current zoning status, adding that housing needs to be developed on lands zoned for housing.
Speaking to the Roscommon People on Tuesday, Cllr. Anthony Waldron said that County Roscommon needs special attention and funding in order to further develop its tourism potential by way of showcasing our heritage/history attractions.
Cllr. Waldron said he had recently raised that need with Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, adding that his views had been positively received.
Directly referring to Edenville House, Cllr. Waldron said “any property of this nature in our county must have its tourism/community potential fully explored (before contemplating rezoning)”.
Cllr. Waldron said that he will be making the case (with the various agencies) for a ‘Historical Way’ to be developed in County Roscommon, which would link the various attractions here. He cited the fact that there are many castles, historical buildings, walkways, and other amenities in Roscommon which, with proper planning and funding, could attract huge visitor numbers in the future.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson said Roscommon County Council has no comment on the matter.