Land Development Agency launches consultation on Columb barracks
STATEMENT OF THE TERRITORY PLANNING AGENCY
The Land Development Agency (LDA) today launched a broad phase of public consultation on the potential for future development of the Columb Fire Station site. The consultation, which runs until July 16, 2021, will aim to identify additional uses of the site in addition to the housing that ADL will develop there.
The consultation will include a community liaison team, the project website, a survey and meetings with local elected officials, local stakeholders, the community and residents’ groups. It aims to reach as many stakeholders as possible from community, business, arts, culture, sports, etc. as well as organizations and individuals who wish to contribute ideas or comments that contribute to the vision.
This is a very early stage consultation that will help develop a comprehensive plan for the region. There will be further consultation phases prior to a final design and planning request.
Columb Barracks is located in the heart of Mullingar, 800m west of Main Street and 500m from Mullingar Station. The barracks closed in 2012 and much of the site has been unused since. The total site is 9.9 hectares.
The LDA invited local groups to join a Columb Barracks Advisory Group in January 2021. This brought together Westmeath County Council, Westmeath County Council Public Participation Network, Mullingar Chamber of Commerce, Council education and training from Longford Westmeath, Enterprise Ireland and Land Development. Agency. The Columb Barracks Advisory Group will play a key role in conducting the consultation.
LDA’s initial concepts for the regeneration plan include a mix of housing, community use, education and business. The project regeneration plan will be based on the latest principles of design and construction innovation to ensure that the project is socially, environmentally and commercially sustainable over the long term. The final concepts will sensitively integrate the heritage of the barracks, preserving it for future generations. The regeneration plan will seek to incorporate the views of local stakeholders, knowing that there may be many different ideas for the site within the local community.
The 9.9 hectare site offers good access to educational, community and commercial facilities, as well as the provision of public transport in the form of several bus and train services.
Peter Burke TD, Minister of State responsible for Local Government and Planning, said: “I welcome the partnership between the LDA and Westmeath County Council to develop the Columb Barracks site in collaboration with members of our community. I have had a number of productive meetings with the LDA over the past few months in relation to the site and see their desire to deliver a flagship project for the Midlands. Columb Barracks play an important role in our identity as residents of Mullingar and it is imperative that structures are protected and maintained for the benefit of the community. I am confident in the commitments made by ADL that the site will have an important role to play in our community for years to come.
Robert Troy TD, Minister of State for Trade Promotion, said: “The re-imagining of the Columb Barracks site begins with the local community. This site presents a number of options, from housing to community space, including business creation. Local actors will play an important role in determining the development of the site. I would encourage the people of Mullingar to engage in this process with the LDA and Westmeath County Council. I also want to commend the LDA and the Columb Barracks Advisory Group for their work to date. The redevelopment of this important cultural and historical site is something that will benefit the entire community, the city and beyond. Given its high potential, I hope to see an ambitious and timely redevelopment that takes advantage of all the opportunities that the Columb Barracks site presents. This can only be done in collaboration with all stakeholders.
Cllr John Shaw, Westmeath County Council Elected Representative on the Columb Barracks Advisory Group, said: “Westmeath County Council is proud to play a leading role in the Columb Barracks Project, working in partnership with the LDA. The Columb Barracks Advisory Group has already brought together many stakeholders to initiate an open and inclusive process that we hope will engage the entire community. I look forward to working with community leaders to define a vision for the barracks site.
Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer of Westmeath County Council, said: “The Columb Barracks project offers an opportunity to create world-class development for the people of Mullingar and Co. Westmeath. The council’s Mullingar Local Area Plan identified the Columb Barracks site as a site of major regeneration opportunity, with supporting policies and objectives to ensure its proper regeneration and redevelopment. Westmeath County Council is pleased to work with the Land Development Agency in the preparation of this exciting regeneration master plan. “
Phelim O’Neill, Head of Real Estate at the Land Development Agency, said: “The Land Development Agency is responsible for coordinating land under state control for more optimal uses, where appropriate, with an emphasis on the provision of housing. In doing so, we work with communities to engage them in the process. We are delighted to launch this public consultation and to seek the views of the people of Mullingar on this exciting project.
It is expected that the consultation will identify many potential uses of the site. These will help inform the design team in creating a regeneration plan for the site.