PLANS have been approved for a €75 million project near Mallow which will feature a 40-bed hotel, 18-hole golf course, 109 houses and 16 holiday homes.
Cork County Council members voted unanimously yesterday to adopt a material contravention of the county development plan, which will allow the land to be rezoned for the project.
Developers Magner Manor want to convert the Georgian-built Ballygiblin Manor at Cecilstown into a luxury hotel and spa.
The 18-hole golf course will contain an artificial lake and the developers also plan to provide driving bays and a golf academy on the site.
The council’s acting senior planner, Kevin Lynch, recommended the project as he said it had a number of positive elements, including refurbishing the old manor house which was built in 1720.
He said it would establish a flagship tourism project at Cecilstown, which is 13km north-west of Mallow.
The site, he added, was also in the disadvantaged CLÁR area.
The project will provide much-needed jobs during construction and after its completion.
An Taisce made a submission which stated that it was in favour of “suitable and sensitive” redevelopment of the old manor house, but added that it wasn’t in favour of the whole scale of the project, especially the number of residential homes.
This stance was criticised by a number of public representatives.
“It’s a hugely important project for north Cork. It is very ambitious in the current economic climate and we must do everything to support it,” Cllr Pat Buckley (FG) said.
“It will lead to a significant number of tourists coming into this area.”
Cllr Marian Murphy (FG) said she was very impressed by the plans.
“It is very similar to Muckross House in Killarney and it would be a shame if it wasn’t developed,” Cllr Murphy said.
Cllr Marie “The Shamrock” Murphy (FF) said the development would bring a jobs boost to the area, while Cllr Noel O’Connor (FG), who is chairman of Blackwater Tourism, said his organisation was totally behind it.