The launch of a public consultation for the development of an enhanced new masterplan for lands at Loughanaskin in the heart of Athlone has been announced by Westmeath County Council.
The masterplan will strive to deliver a comprehensive regeneration of the Loughanaskin site to become a highly sustainable and integrated new urban quarter adjoining to the town centre of Athlone.
The masterplan proposals have been informed by an initial phase of consultation with the local community and stakeholders which took place in the first quarter of 2021, in addition to the application of national and international best practice and a robust analysis of the site and wider area.
Westmeath County Council secured funding for the project from the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF ) which is provided to support sustainable development, as set out in Project Ireland 2040.
“We are delighted to publish the Loughanaskin masterplan concept which is the result of a sustained period of community and stakeholder engagement and progressive design process delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
"This future vision for Loughanaskin will deliver a best-in-class employment destination balanced by a vibrant new urban living quarter that will transform and futureproof this area of Athlone," David Jones, Director of Services, Westmeath County Council, commented.
The current phase of consultation will include an in-person public exhibition which will take place on Thursday, May 26, from 3pm–7pm in the Athlone Civic Centre. Intending attendees will be able to browse the masterplan concept proposals and engage with members of the design team.
Members of the public are invited to take part in the consultation by completing a short survey on the masterplan proposals at www.loughanaskin.ie, the survey closing for submissions on Thursday, June 9.
The regeneration-led masterplan incorporates a number of key design components including provision for a new commercial zone that will feature state-of-the-art, flexible and mixed-use commercial office spaces to accommodate a variety of occupiers. A residential zone is also featured within the design concept offering a mix of urban house types to help diversify local housing provision.
Additional features within the masterplan includes the development of a high quality landing space comprising recreation and amenity space, a distinctive ‘green route’ through the site providing a pedestrian friendly connection between the town centre and Old Rail Trail greenway, the development of St Mary’s gateway which will be a new entrance space to Loughanaskin including community and cultural uses and a number of active ground floor uses as part of the residential and commercial zones.
“The launch of the Loughanaskin masterplan marks an exciting milestone for Athlone as it signals confidence in the wider town area as a prime investment location. We look forward to engaging with the local community once more and listening to their views on the proposed future design for Loughanaskin as Westmeath County Council take a significant step forward in realising the site’s development ambition," Seamus Donohoe, Director at the project’s planning consultancy, Turley, commented.
To browse the Loughanaskin masterplan proposals or to complete the survey visit www.loughanaskin.ie Members of the public can also contact the project team by emailing [email protected] or calling the freephone consultation hotline on 1800-010101.
Recognised as the Midlands Gateway under the National Planning Framework 2040, a further two urban regeneration projects will significantly enhance the infrastructure within Athlone, the Athlone Tourism and Cultural Quarter Project with its focus on enhancing the streetscape on the west side of the town and the Athlone Town Centre enhancement project for which the Council is currently seeking tenders.