West Cavan Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the
approval of work under Part 8 of the Planning & Development
Regulations 2006 for three major West Cavan Projects.

‘At this months meeting of the Council approval was granted to allow
significant work to be completed at the Courthouse, Dowra, the
extension and redevelopment of the Market House, Blacklion and the
provision of an unmanned interpretative centre and other works at
Burren, Blacklion, a key site in the Marble Arch Geopark.’

Because the properties involved are all either owned by the Council or
the projects are heavily supported by Cavan County Council they can
avail of the fast-track planning procedure under the Planning &
Development Act 2000.

‘The work on Dowra Courthouse will restore a building that is the very
key to the Village of Dowra and ensure that the building continues as
a focal point for Dowra. It will involved the demolition of
outbuildings in the courtyard of the building, the construction of a
new equipment store, an internal lift, an external glazed link
corridor at the rear of the building and internal alterations. This
sympathetic programme of work will protect the building whilst
allowing a future productive use of the building. This project is now
proceeding to tender and is the largest project funded in County Cavan
under the Harnessing Natural Resources Project funded by INTEREG under
the auspices of Cavan County Enterprise Fund.’

Highlighting the plans for development at the Burren, Councillor
Feeley noted that this is the key element of the Marble Arch Geopark
in County Cavan.

‘The significance of the Burren is really only becoming clear given
the concentration of megalithic and geological features. The proposed
work, to be funded under the Border Uplands Programme will involve the
construction of an unmanned interpretative centre on the site of an
abandoned farmhouse in Burren Forest, the construction of a number of
marked trails to a verity of access standards, interpretative signage,
improved roadways, enhanced, improved car and bus parking facilities
and the provision of toilet facilities. The Burren site is extremely
sensitive from a visual, historical and ecological point of view. The
careful planning and close cooperation between Coilte Teoranta, the
Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture and other agencies
have allowed these proposals to progress. I congratulate all of those
involved in this important project.’

Finally, Councillor Feeley welcomed the approval of plans for work at
the Market House in Blacklion. This plan in conjunction with Killinagh
Community Council will facilitate the development of the primary
visitors and interpretive facility for the entire Marble Arch Geopark.
This Centre will act as a guide pointing visitors to the Marble Arch
Caves, the Burren and the other site. It provides for an extension to
the present building and other works.

These three projects are of major significant to the local community
and will bring an investment of over € 1.3million to the area in the
short term.