The public consultation process on the next Mullingar Local Area Plan for 2014-2020 is to commence this month.
The area plan will leave policies open in order to attract activity into the unoccupied Columb Barracks and vacant buildings at St Loman’s Hospital.
“We are leaving it open to any activity that will bring life back into these facilities, providing they retain the buildings and that their historical integrity is kept intact,” said the council’s director of services Barry Kehoe.
An assessment of flood risk in certain areas of the town is being prepared to feed into the draft plan. Mr Kehoe said the council is currently combining a report received from the Office of Public Works with the council’s own information in order to prepare a Strategic Flood Risk Assessment and determine the final zoning.
While areas at risk of flooding have been identified in the vicinity of the river Brosna to the south of the town, and in Robinstown to the north, Mr Kehoe said the OPW data does not highlight any further areas of concern.
Provision is also to be made in the plan for a cycle network and a Greenway route linking Lough Owel to Lough Ennell, a multi-campus school site in the Robinstown area, and a park along the C-Link road.
More emphasis will be placed on making the town centre accessible to pedestrians and people with disabilities.
The draft Local Area Plan is to come before councillors by May 12, and will then go out for public consultation for six weeks. It will come into effect in January 2014.