With two major proposed developments for Fermoy, the hotel and the Shipton Group project, in limbo, Fermoy will sit tight and hold its breath until a decision is made on the third proposal, the €100 million Ballyjamesduff development which is poised to bring substantial extra employment to the area.
The project, which is headed by James Toomey Architects, based in Dublin, is awaiting a decision on a planning application from Cork County Council on October 14. The project has already been granted planning permission by Fermoy Town Council for the access road, which is the entrance to the development, that was under the town authority’s jurisdiction.
Ballyjamesduff Properties had to apply to both Cork County Council and Fermoy Town Council as the 12 acres site, which is bounded by the River Blackwater to the north and by the Courthouse Road to the south is split between the two planning authorities.
The project comprises of a main anchor store, a second smaller anchor store, 23 shops, a restaurant, a cafe, a play barn for children, gymnasium, 5-screen cinema and 650 underground parking spaces. The main anchor store is specifically designed for Dunnes.
“We have a history with them. We know what they want and the design reflects that. We just need to have the planning permission before they sign anything,” said chief architect, James Toomey.
For the second anchor store, the developers are in talks with a number of potential interested parties.
“We’re hoping that some of the people we got in the Gorey Shopping Centre will be coming with us,” he added.
What makes this project special and very appealing is the fact that half the site is taken up by a parkland area, a riverside walk by the Blackwater, a pedestrian plaza, a pond and a beautiful water feature.
The big plaza can be utilized for farmers’ markets; music recitals etc and it will act as a future link to the town. The plaza will also link down to the public park area.
“The parkland is very much integrated into the shopping. We think this will be a big plus for people, who will come to use it along with the play barn, gymnasium and cinema. It is the social element that will add to the shopping experience,” Mr Toomey explained. The cinema, in itself, part of the project, is impressively designed.
“When you walk down the foyer of the cinema, you look out at the parkland. We also designed the cafe and the restaurant to overlook the plaza,” Mr. Toomey continued. The planners asked for an iconic building and James Toomey Architects seemed to have delivered it.
They have also delivered a valuable asset, a well-landscaped area, where people can relax and enjoy their beautiful surroundings while satisfying their shopping needs.
The proposed development will, if approved, also provide a significant jobs boost to Fermoy through construction workers employed during the building phase or the 400 jobs that will be coming to the area once the project is finished.
Thursday 2nd October 7:21pm