An exciting new Master Plan for the development of a sizable land bank into a major business park at Ballinattin, Tramore, was approved by Waterford County Council at a meeting in Dungarvan this week.

The project will create a new strategic ‘economic quarter’ in Tramore and provide the incentive for development and investment in the seaside resort.

The prime mover behind the Master Plan is BBCQ Construction Ltd. which holds 165 acres of land at Ballinattin, including two residences, Ballinattin Cottage and Lodge.

The Master Plan area, which adjoins the new Tramore Racecourse, will involve major road development with easy access to Waterford Regional Airport, Passage East Car Ferry and Bellview Port via the new national road network surrounding Waterford City.

The permissible land uses at Ballinattin are laid down in the Tramore Local Area Plan as primarily economic development, including industrial, commercial and tourism development. The zoning will include B&Bs, guesthouse, café, restaurant, cash and carry, housing, enterprise centre, hotel and tourist accommodation. Industrial uses will include retail comparison goods, warehousing and wholesale outlets.

Consideration will be given to an amusement centre, caravan park, casual trading, dance hall/disco, cinema, pub and off licence.

Spine road’

Access to the Master Plan area will commence at a junction of the Waterford and Dunmore East roads at a roundabout to be constructed by the County Council as part of the Glen Road upgrade process. This ‘spine road’ will connect to one arm of the roundabout with the existing Dunmore East Road and Old Waterford Road being rerouted to join up further east. Eventually, the ‘spine road’ will extend through the entire Master Plan lands and beyond to connect up with Waterford Airport.

Members of the Council were told that discussions were held with land owners in advance of the plan being prepared with a view to involving them all in the process. However, the second biggest land owner felt unable to commit to the process and it was agreed that BBCQ Construction Ltd. would prepare the necessary documents but allow for the development of the remaining lands.

The Council heard that a comprehensive phasing plan had been established by the design team to focus on BBCQ Construction lands due to their willingness to initiate development and investment in the area. When completed, the entire design concept would achieve a modern business park environment in a parkland setting with housing for workers.

Deliver jobs

Tramore Councillor Ann Marie Power (FG) said the Fine Gael Group in Tramore had been very proactive with regard to the Maser Plan for Ballinattin which would clearly deliver much needed jobs and stimulate economic activity in the area.

As far as strategic forward planning went, the Master Plan was visionary and would open up much needed access between Tramore and the proposed new Racecourse and eventually Waterford Airport

It was most welcome that one of the developers was from a highly regarded local family who had huge economic access on a global level and would, without doubt, deliver high end jobs for Tramore, she said.

County Mayor Tom Higgins (FG) described the Master Plan as fantastic for Tramore. He said it would provide employment for the area and, in future, people would not necessarily have to commute into the city.

Framework document

The Ballinattin Master Plan was described by Waterford based planning consultant, Peter Thomson, as a framework document designed to pave the way for significant job creation through the development of over 300 acres of land zoned primarily economic business and related development on the north east fringe of Tramore.

The Master Plan, which was a requirement of the Tramore Development Plan 2007 to 2013, was prepared by a design team headed by Peter Thomson of Planning Solutions on behalf of the majority landholders.

The Plan provides for a broad mix of business premises ranging from small scale start up/ incubator and live/work units to larger high spec business units located in an open parkland business campus setting.

Needs of professionals

Complementary to the business units will be a limited range of housing sites, the larger of which can meet the needs of professionals wishing to work from a family home based office or incoming business investors and business executives and their families, said Mr. Thomson.

Pivotal to the homes and workplaces will be a small neighbourhood centre providing a mix of convenience shops, restaurant with café and leisure and crèche facilities which will serve the day to day needs of residents and workers.

“Overall the aim will be the delivery of sustainable development through the provision quality jobs in a modern and pleasant live-work environment with excellent facilities for workers and residents”, he said.

Phase 1, involving the development of start up/ incubator and live/work units and a mix of larger and medium sized homes is programmed to commence shortly after full planning permission is secured. The adoption of the Master Plan is the first step in this process.

The second phase will involve the building of a number of larger industrial units served off the first section of new road to run through the Master Plan lands. In time this road will continue out past the new racecourse and ultimately tie in with the recently completed Airport Road realignment.