Planned Ballinrobe project could create up to 400 jobs

By Toni Bourke

A planning application before Mayo County Council could lead to the development of 400 jobs in Ballinrobe, the Mayo Advertiser has learned. And during the construction phase of this mixed use development, a further 200 jobs would be created.

A decision was due on the application on the Racecourse Road, Ballinrobe on December 8 but the council have sought further information and it will be three months before the applicants know their fate.

The application is on the site of a proposed hotel but construction ceased on the hotel due to the downturn in the economy.

Corbwell Design have lodged the current application for a mixed use development on the Racecourse Road on behalf of Mardoc Holdings. The application consists of offices, warehousing, light industrial/technology and manufacturing units. The existing planning permission on the site for the hotel will expire in 2010.

Hugh Whiriskey of Corbwell Design has estimated that the construction budget for the scheme will be €15 million. “When complete and based on proposed floor areas we envisage the potential for employment to be in the region of circa 400 plus,” Mr Whiriskey added.

“We feel the scheme has the potential to set new precedents for quality of development in Ballinrobe and in Mayo. If successful it will provide valuable employment in this location and will create an economically intrinsic hub for the Ballinrobe/South Mayo area,” he explained.

“The concept was to create a quality business park with landmark gateway buildings to identify the scheme in addition to quality warehousing, surface parking, landscaping and generous open space,” Mr Whiriskey outlined.

Ian Dermody of Dermody Auctioneers, acting on behalf of the vendor in the sale of the site, has stated: “This is a rare opportunity in the current financial climate to provide meaningful long-term employment for Ballinrobe town.

“To date, we have received a number of expressions of interest with regard to the occupation of a number of the units on site off the plans by way of purchasing the units outright or by leasing the units on a long-term basis.

The existing planning permission for a hotel complex in the current climate is certainly not feasible and I would urge Mayo County Council to approve this planning permission.”

Local Fianna Fáil Councillor Damien Ryan welcomed the proposed development, stating: “In light of the economic downturn it would be a welcome development for the locality.”

No objections have been lodged with Mayo County Council, according to the applicants, and therefore a decision to grant planning permission could be made on or before March 7 2009. The developers Mardoc Holdings have indicated that the project is planned to commence in mid 2009.


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