The former Lavelle's Bakery is to be renovated as part of the investment and become a new restaurant

Green light for major town centre commercial development

AN Bord Pleanála has cleared the way for a multi-million-euro commercial development for Castlebar town centre following a series of planning setbacks.

Local businessmen Dermot Fadden and Ivan Carroll have been informed that they can commence work on the site on the former Lavelle's Bakery and Upper Crust sites at Main Street after considering an appeal in respect of a gable wall issue.

It is expected that work will start on the site before the end of March, representing a significant boost to the town centre.

The authority had sought an extension of time before Christmas to deal with the appeal by the owner of one of the adjacent buildings at Linenhall Street, Nancy Flynn.

But a ruling by the board deemed the appeal unsuccessful.

However, prior to commencement of development, the developers must submit to Mayo County Council for written agreement a detailed construction method statement ensuring the integrity and structural stability of all adjoining properties.

This method statement must include adequate structural surveys and assessments to be undertaken prior to any work being carried out on the site.

The planning permission by Mayo County Council against which Ms. Flynn appealed related to a proposal by Patrick and Anna Fadden to demolish an existing shop unit and construct a two-storey shop on a smaller footprint.

They also sought to build a new pedestrian laneway and link bridge to the adjoining site where the projects by Dermot Fadden and Ivan Carroll are proposed.

Dermot Fadden, who heads the Sixth Sense men's fashion outlet, is investing in a new retail development which will face onto Main Street, while Ivan Carroll, the proprietor of the Bay Leaf Restaurant in Turlough, is converting the old Lavelle’s Bakery building into a state-of-the-art restaurant adjacent to what is known locally as Hoban's car park, which is owned by Mayo County Council.

An integral factor in the new project involves creating an access to the existing riverside and greenway walks in the town by demolishing a building owned by Patrick and Anna Fadden at Linenhall Street.

In making its order, An Bord Pleanála said the development, subject to seven planning conditions imposed, 'would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or property in the vicinity, would not be prejudicial to public health and would generally be acceptable in terms of traffic safety and convenience'.

“The proposed development would, therefore, be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area,” added a spokesperson of the board.

When contacted, the developers welcomed the board's decision and looked forward to work getting underway at the earliest possible date.

In a statement issued, Councillor Cyril Burke said the project was a major one for Castlebar town centre and he wished Mr. Fadden and Mr. Carroll every success with their investment.

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