30 homes in the 'Bridge offer the minimum of summer hope

As the crunch continues its restrictions and house-building nationally is to drop from 90,000 per annum in 2006 to an estimated 10,000 this year, it is heartening to see a firm called Ardleigh Developments has been given permission to build 30 new homes in a mixed development on the Rhode Road in Rochfortbridge.

Also offering some economic compost to the green shoots is Paul Fagan of the Lake County, who has applied for and received permission to extend his soon-to-open nightclub by converting 96 sq m of storage space into dance floor.

The only other permissions of any note in the county that were granted in the last few weeks are minor apartment conversions in Castlepollard and Mount Street, Mullingar.

However, the VEC is finally taking staff safety seriously and is to build a fire escape from the first floor staff room at St Columba's College in Killucan.

Ceoltas Ceoltoiri Eireann will also make a few internal refurbishments to the Arts Centre at the bottom of Mount Street in Mullingar after being given the green light to do so in the protected structure.

Though there were no refusals of note in the last few weeks from the Planning Department, there have been a number of interesting applications submitted.

On Coosan Point Road outside of Athlone, Tom and Nollaig O'Neill hope to create 10 new jobs at their Eco Cottage development by converting a meeting room into a public bar and restaurant.

A similar application has been received from K&M Partners who want to change a shop unit into a restaurant on Patrick Street in Mullingar.

In Rochfortbridge, seemingly the only place in the county these days still building houses, Martin and Gerry Donoghue are hoping to get permission to build three detached houses at Stonebridge on the Dublin Road.

In Kilbeggan, Gerry Ormsby offers some commercial glimmer of hope as he has submitted a plan to build an extension to his warehouse in the industrial estate.

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