Wednesday 22 August 2007

Developers seek green light for hi-tech park

PROPERTY development giants Treasury Holdings are seeking planning permission for a business and technology park which would create up to 2,500 jobs along the Waterford-Tipperary border.

The initial phase of planning permission has been sought by the company for lands at Coolnamuck, about three kilometres west of Carrick-on-Suir (Carrick).

The 320-acre site for the proposed €10 million campus development runs along the N24 national primary route as well as the R680 regional route.

Public consultation meetings have already been held with residents in Carrick and the neighbouring town of Rathgormack while discussions have taken place with council officials in advance of the start of the planning process.

The project has the backing of the IDA which is in favour of attracting new investment to the area. The region has lost several industries in recent years and has been labelled by local politicians as an “unemployment blackspot”.

The traditional tannery employers of the region have fallen away over the last two decades while an attempt to attract government decentralisation to Carrick was unsuccessful.

The developers envisage research and development to be a major component of the technology park, with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology areas key to its future.

Most of the proposed 2,500 jobs forecast for the campus would be of a hi-tech nature, while local representatives also hope that the development will help to attract other employers to the region.

Plans lodged this week, in the name of John Ronan of Treasury Holdings to Waterford and South Tipperary county councils cover a new roundabout on the N24, with access to a proposed new bridge across the Suir, leading to another roundabout to access the development. If given the go-ahead, the bridge would carry two lanes of vehicular traffic and one pedestrian walkway. There will also be causeway works with an arched pedestrian walkway at each side of the river.

The developers also want to build a new access road and car park close to the R680, for the purposes of providing leisure amenity access.

These planning applications, drawn up by Dublin-based architects Henry J Lyons & Partners, cover access issues to the site, while future plans will involve the buildings and other relevant development. The proposal is currently at pre-validation stage and a decision is due by early October.

The lands were zoned for “special development” by Waterford County Council in 2005.

Irish Examiner

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