Wednesday 28 November 2007

€60m plan for ‘tourist haven’ on Lough Derg

PLANS to create a “tourist haven” in Tipperary, with the development of a €60 million marina on Lough Derg, were announced yesterday.

Project promoters Eclipse Developments said the proposed integrated tourism development scheme in Ballina/Killaloe would generate 70 jobs.

The development, Shoreline, is reportedly one of the biggest investments on the Shannon.

During a proposed two-year construction period, about 120 jobs will be created.

Extensive public car parking and 90 residential units are also planned for the site.

The development will incorporate “a living breathing marina” with 1.5km of public walkways and a plaza with restaurants, cafes and shops.

The overall scheme is expected to positively impact on visitor numbers to the region and would provide a welcome boost to the local economy — reportedly between €2m-€4m.

The developers say they plan to build a world-class marina with top of the range services including marine supplies, telecommunications and wi-fi.

It is also expected the proposed development will extend the tourist season in the Shannon region.

The promoters are seeking planning permission from North Tipperary County Council.

Retail and commercial space is expected to include chandlery and marine services, specialist retail, gallery and health and spa facilities.

One of the key features of the Shoreline proposal is the extension and enhancement of the existing marina facilities which includes public pathways woven around the site employing bridges, links and decking to complete a circuit of 1.5km of uninterrupted pedestrian walkways with exquisite views over the Shannon.

One of the most spectacular viewing points will be from atop the signature building which slopes upwards from ground level. Members of the public will be able to access a viewing platform at the highest point, with views towards Béal Boru and the lake beyond, and southwards towards Ballina and Killaloe. This building will act as a marker for boats on the Shannon and signal their arrival at Ballina/Killaloe.

The Lough Derg Marina site historically functioned as a departure point for day-trippers taking the steamship to and from Banagher.

Eclipse Developments said it plans to recommence the service to allow visitors to take a trip along the river and lake, departing from and returning to the marina site.

David Lehane of Eclipse Developments said: “With Shoreline, we are seeking to create a haven on the Shannon for visitors to the region and locals alike.

“The public spaces, walkways and facilities on site will make it the ideal destination for those who want to enjoy Shannon life on or off the water.

“We want to create something that is world-class and truly unique on the waterways in Ireland — in a way that is sustainable and sensitive to local heritage and the environment,” he said.

Irish Examiner

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