A land-zoning change in the Cork county development plan is being sought in a preliminary move to facilitate a €40m development.

A hotel, retail village, and 4,000-seat conference centre is included in a project envisaged by Phoenix Tourism Development Bandon.

The land-zoning submission lodged with Cork County Council relates to the Castlebernard Estate just outside the town of Bandon.

Bob Brady, a spokesman for the new company behind the application, said: “The potential economic boom for Bandon as a result of this project is huge.”

The company was formed by four local residents specifically to drive the project.

The zoning application, lodged on January 22, relates in part to a 41-acre scrubland site off the N71.

The land has been earmarked by the group for a 4,000-seater conference centre, as well as a retail village along the lines of Kildare Village.

The application seeks zoning changes to a 22-acre field about 1.2km away, close to the ruins of Bandon’s Castlebernard House, burned during the War of Independence.

It is envisaged that the field will be the location of a proposed hotel, adjacent to the 18-hole golf course and Castlebernard House ruins.

A land-zoning change is a preliminary stage in advance of a planning application.

Mr Brady, a builder and developer, said that if zoning is approved, a planning application would follow. He said the proposed project is likely to cost in the region of €40m and could generate 400 full-time jobs and 250 jobs during the construction phase.

He believes it could be the first big post-recession development of its kind for Cork county, outside of the city.

Mr Brady said the three proposed projects are aimed squarely at domestic and international tourists, while the conference centre could also host concerts, exhibitions, and other large events.

“The Wild Atlantic Way is flying. The trouble right now is that Bandon is not geared up for all these tourists,” said Mr Brady.

“In fact, we have just one hotel in Bandon right now.

“Bandon has been bypassed by the tourist industry, which is worth over €7bn to Ireland each year — yet the town hardly sees any of this.”

While Bandon is regarded as a gateway to West Cork, many pass through without stopping, he observed.

“Our job is to get the tourists to stop and spend their money in Bandon.

“We are going to give people a reason to come here as a desirable tourism and shopping destination.”


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