The City Quay project planned for the North Wharves and Ferrybank is progressing, according to Tom Coughlan, the Cork based developer who bought the Ardree Hotel.

At present, he is working with the Waterford City Planning Authority and has made good progress with his submission. The indications are that there may be a decision in the next month or two, prior to the summer. It is understood that city planners have given the project a lot of attention in recent weeks. A positive decision could be a shot in the arm for the city.

Minister Martin Cullen was very enthusiastic about the project at the launch in Christ Church last summer and likened it to the waterside developments in Shanghai, China.

Mr Coughlan said that, despite the property downturn, he would be positive about going ahead with the luxury hotel development. He would be looking at a 208-bedroom, up-market facility to be completed in time for the visit of the Tall Ships in 2011. He has strong connections to international groups such as Sheraton whom he has worked with in Watford near London.

Meanwhile, work has recommenced on the shopping development of Mahon McPhillips, near Ferrybank church, after stopping over the winter.