Concerns for future of swifts at Newtownforbes

Concerns have been raised that the swift-bird species at Newtownforbes could be harmed if plans for a large housing development are given the go-ahead.

Longford County Council is to make a decison later this month on whether to give planning to a development on the site of Bohan’s bar in the village.

Another objector claims a colony of bats could be affected if plans to replace the vacant building, with 25 homes, is given approval.

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In April, John Mahon lodged a planning application to demolish Bohan’s bar, storage shed and outhouses in Main Street, Newtownforbes, and build 24 semi-detached houses and a detached home.

So far, four people have expressed reservations about the development, with two based partly on environmental issues.

Larry Mitchell, of Ballymakeegan in Longford, claims Bohan’s holds the last breeding colony of swifts at Newtownforbes.

A member of Swift Conservation Ireland, he claims that, if fully demolished, it could result in another town in Longford being bereft of its ‘rare and unique summer visitors’, as he explains.

In their objection, Kevin and Enda O’Brien, of Main Street in Newtownforbes, also raised concerns about the swift habitat in the building, along with a colony of bats in the roof.

The council is due to make a decision on the development by June 20, with today being the deadline for submissions.