Athlone Institute of Technology is in line for a multi-million euro upgrade as part of its elevation to university status.

Longford developer and former Athlone IT graduate Mark Cunningham has lodged plans to construct a large scale student campus as part of a development that is expected to exceed €100m.

The chartered engineer has applied to An Bord Pleanála through the State's Strategic Housing Development (SHD) to construct a 283-bed student campus along with 127 residential houses and apartments at Lissywollen, Athlone, Co Westmeath.

The development site, otherwise known as 'The Green Quarter' fronts onto The Old Rail Trail Cycleway where connectivity to the new Athlone Technological University (TU) and Athlone town centre for students and residents is proposed.

The ambitious plans come a little over two months after Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris announced the merger of AIT and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) into a new Technological University of the Shannon.

Mr Cunningham said the mooted development was in keeping with local policy guidelines level to construct a "student quarter" while promoting Athlone as an "international student destination."

The former AIT student spoke of his own personal delight at being able to devise what promises to be one of the largest and transformational projects for his former alma mater.

"As a past student of Athlone Regional Technical College (RTC), I'm delighted to have the opportunity to apply for permission to construct a purpose built student campus which both reflects its new Technological University status and also Athlone's place as a regional growth centre in The National Planning Framework.".

A decision on the development is expected to be made by An Bord Pleanála later this year.