FORTY full-time jobs are to be created by The Atlantis Group after a decision by An Bord Pleanála to uphold the granting of planning permission for the development of park and ride facilities to the Cliffs of Moher.
The proposed development consists of park-and-ride bus services from Liscannor and Coogyulla, Doolin to the €31 million Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience.
The developer, which has a strong presence in the West of Ireland hospitality and tourism sector, says the project will generate 20 full-time positions when up and running, with a further 20 jobs being created during the construction phase.
Work on the development is expected to commence in early 2010 and be completed by next autumn.
When the planning was first filed, the developer sought permission for 385 car and 10 bus-parking spaces at a location close to the village centre in Liscannor and 120 parking spaces also with facilities for three shuttle buses in Doolin.
However, locals railed against the project and while emphasising that they weren’t anti-development, they were concerned at the sale and location of the park and ride facility. They felt the development was out of proportion for the size of Liscannor village.
However, this week’s ruling by An Bord Pleanála
According to Atlantic group director John D Flanagan, “We envisage that services will run in conjunction with the operating hours and procedures of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, with the capacity to handle some of the hundreds of people that visit one of Ireland’s premier tourist attractions daily.”
Mr Flanagan said the development would bring significant benefits to the local economy.
“Visitor attractions throughout North Clare have noted a considerable fall off on tourist numbers in the past 12 months which has had considerable implications for business throughout the region,” he said.
“The Atlantis Group believes that by working in tandem with the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, we can strike a counterbalance that further enhances the Cliffs of Moher’s position as a leading tourist attraction while increasing the tourist spend elsewhere. This will help revitalise rural communities across north Clare,” he suggests.
Since 2006, the holiday and accommodation body has opened the newly refurbished hotels including three in North Clare – Tír Gan Éan House Hotel and Holiday Complex in Doolin, the Burren Coast Hotel and Holiday Lodges in Ballyvaughan and the Cliffs of Moher Hotel in Liscannor.
The Atlantis Group is also promoting the famed Joseph McHugh’s pub in Liscannor and the AA 5-star Ballyvara House in Doolin.
Meanwhile, The Atlantis Group has announced the creation of an additional four full-time jobs, with the scheduled opening of a new pub in Doolin. The traditional Irish music pub is expected to be opened in advance of the Miko Russell Weekend festival next February.