An image of the proposed new hotel in Ballyshannon
Plans to build a four-star boutique hotel in Ballyshannon have been described as a bid to attract tourists that are being lost to Donegal town and Bundoran.
A planning application has been lodged with Donegal County Council to build the 40-room hotel on Wild Atlantic Way at Assaaroe Road in the town.
The application has been made by Ballyshannon-based I Maloney and Sons to demolish an old cinema and Maggie’s pub and restaurant.
The three and four-story building would include 45 car parking spaces.
The company making the application is owned by the McCosker family who own the old cinema site, and the Ballyshannon Service Station and Centra. A decision on the application is due early in the new year.
The plans for the hotel have been drawn up by Urban Agency architects in Dublin.
A statement submitted with the application says the plans are for a new boutique hotel that will serve the growing number of tourists using the Wild Atlantic Way. The submission for the plans state the town is underachieving in the potential gain from the tourist route with a lack of suitable accommodation one of the reasons.
Despite its many cultural and heritage attractions many tourists do not stop in town but move on to stay in either Donegal town or Bundoran, the application states.
“Ballyshannon is underprovided in hotel choice and cannot serve the potential demand that there is because of this and the related knock-on shops and cafes a successful throughput of visitors would bring,” the statement said.
“This business is being lost to the town and is instead going to the popular venues in Bundoran and to the busy shops and hotels in Donegal town."
'Kinsale of the north'
The application says “Ballyshannon has the potential to be the Kinsale of the north” and the successful granting of the application would be a boost to the town in light of the “very low level of investment in Ballyshannon over recent years”.
Architect Michael Cullinan said the hotel would “serve the tourists passing on the Wild Atlantic Way and will address the negative impacts on the town from the recent bypass”.
“Ballyshannon was bypassed and this has had an impact on the town’s economy and on local employment and on tourism,” he said.
“The new hotel will encourage tourists to come and visit and see the town’s many fine historic cultural buildings. The building is three-storey and part four-storey high and has a commanding view of the river and Donegal bay.
“It has been designed to take advantage of this prominent location and the facade will have a local stone from Mountcharles and a landscaped garden at the front that will make a welcoming entrance feature for the hotel guests. We believe the proposal is deserving of the support from the local business community and from the county council.”
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