Planning permission has been granted for a 46-bedroom hotel and leisure centre in Ballinrobe — a development that a local business leader has said will ‘be the making of the town’.
Mayo County Council granted planning permission for the development on the site where the historic Cranmore House sits.
The developers, Nebor Ltd, were notified last Thursday of the decision, which came as a welcome relief to many in the local community.
Richard Burke, Chairman of Ballinrobe Business and Enterprise Organisation welcomed the decision, saying it will be a key component in growing the town.
“We have been crying out for a hotel for years,” he told The Mayo News. “This will be the making of the town going forward and everyone in the town welcomes the news. If you asked anyone in Ballinrobe what the town needed to grow and the word on everyone’s lips was a new hotel. We don’t have a large hotel in the town and Ashford Castle appeals to a different market
“This will make a huge difference to the town and when complete will create a spin-off for all other businesses in Ballinrobe. There’s never a wedding [reception] in the town anymore and the picturesque location of this hotel will be ideal for a wedding venue. We also have large businesses like McHale’s in Ballinrobe and overseas visitors who visit the plant all have to stay outside the town. Hopefully the hotel will keep people in the hotel and help improve Ballinrobe.”
A similar development for Cranmore House by developer Pat Duffy was refused planning permission by both Mayo County Council and An Bord Pleanála in 2006.
While there were no objections to the current development, Mr Burke said there was always a fear the project would be turned down. He praised Mr Duffy and Nebor for continuing to show confidence in Ballinrobe and for the time and investment they have put into the project to date.
Cranmore House, which was built in the 1830s and is currently in a derelict condition, is a listed building, and the plans for the hotel centre on the house. The hotel development is set to include 46 bedrooms, as well as new function rooms, bars, restaurant, health suite, gym and swimming pool.
A ground-floor retail space and apartments are also planned alongside the hotel, while a three-storey building will be used as elderly accommodation, and townhouses and individual dwelling houses will be constructed.
Entrances to the development will be located at the old Cranmore House gates on Bowgate Street and a new entrance will be constructed on The Neale Road.
However, plans for eight terraced townhouses have been curtailed by the council, which ordered that six of the townhouses shall be omitted from the development ‘in the interest of proper planning and sustainable development’.
Another condition set down by the council is that the development be carried out in phases, with the hotel forming part of the first phase.