FRESH calls have been made for Donegal County Council to purchase an iconic building in Milford for redevelopment purposes to give the town “a good lift”.
The local authority is being urged to engage with the owners of the old Milford Hotel building, with a view to purchasing it.
Councillor John O’Donnell told the latest meeting of Letterkenny-Milford Municipal District that as the Town Centre First plan for Milford is currently the subject of a public consultation, it is important and timely to include the landmark hotel in discussions.
“It would be important that the building would be identified by the Council, acquired and developed to give the town centre a good lift. We need to lead by example when we are asking developers to come in.
“The Milford Hotel dates back a long number of years and it would be good to see it redeveloped,” he said.
Officials have said the potential for taking over the building will be explored after consultation on the plan is complete. They said the focus of the project is the town of Milford, with a particular focus on the town centre and key vacant, derelict and under utilised properties.
“The scope of the study will therefore capture the former Milford Hotel as a significant heritage property on Main Street. The first stage in the process will soon conclude with the preparation of a wide ranging baseline report on the emerging themes and priorities. This in turn will shape the preparation of a Draft Town Centre First Plan for the next stage of consultation.
“The Draft Plan in turn will set out a proposed vision and objectives, together with corresponding actions and projects, for the regeneration and renewal of Milford.”
Council officials said the future of the former Milford Hotel property will be considered as part of the plan making progress. They also pointed out that funding for acquisition was not currently at disposal.
“The future of the former Milford Hotel property will be considered as part of the plan making process. The funding which is presently available is for the purpose of delivering a Town Centre First Plan for Milford, and the onwards development of an emerging priority project (or projects) to planning consent stage. Funding for acquisition is not presently available.”
The vacant property hit the headlines in 2020 when Cllr Liam Blaney said he believed the site should be bought by the local authority. Cllr Blaney said he would then like to see a public consultation to decide the site’s use going forward.
The town centre building had been put up for sale but when it failed to attract a buyer, owners lodged plans to turn the site into a housing development.
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