THE first concrete details of plans for a multi-million euro project in Lifford have been published.
Donegal County Council has confirmed it will seek permission from An Bord Pleanála to redevelop lands at Lifford Common close to the town’s Applegreen service station.
The local authority wants to create a recreational facility that includes two sports pitches, floodlighting and car parking. But the sports grounds are only the initial prong in a scheme that, if permission is granted, will see social houses built and businesses accommodated on an enterprise park.
Lifford Celtic is set to benefit.
It has agreed to surrender its current ground at Station Road to accommodate the cross-border Riverine Project. The club will instead move to Lifford Common once the grounds are ready.
The European Union has committed €9 million to the Riverine which will create 30 acres of park space, play areas and riverside infrastructure. Included in the wide-ranging plans are a pedestrian bridge linking Lifford with Strabane, a new resource centre, an outdoor stage area, over 70 parking spaces and the construction of a new stand with the capacity to accommodate 123 spectators.
Plans to redevelop Lifford Common come more than 20 years after the idea was first tabled by Councillor Gerry Crawford.
He said yesterday that while Donegal County Council’s firm commitment to the project was welcome, things need to be progressed quickly.
Councillor Crawford said, “This has been brought on from a motion I proposed in 2000 and over the years we have waited for a development plan and for the publication of Donegal County Council’s intent.
“It is very welcome that it has now reached this point and the fact that it includes housing, industry and sport as a result of Lifford Celtic accommodating the Riverine Project is important. I am also in discussion with the council about another item that may be of particular interest to Lifford.
“The Common has always been of major importance in terms of the future development of Lifford and to see it progressing along with the Riverine Project is very exciting.
“It is all very positive news but I would add that it is important that this moves ahead at pace because no one knows where economically we will be a year from now.
“We can’t let this sit and I will be doing my best to make sure things move as quickly as possible,” Councillor Crawford added.