Recent development proposals for existing business properties in Ballina reflect the rapidly- changing nature of such market towns.
High profile proposals of late include the plans to convert Gaughan’s Pub on O’Rahilly St into a licenced restaurant and apartments while another developer is seeking to replace the neighbouring, landmark Garvey’s Bakery with a new development comprised of a retail unit and apartments.
Although these businesses have long-ceased trading, the fact that they are not being replaced with a similar traditional trade is noteworthy.
While locals welcome the refurbishment of ageing properties there is an overriding sense of nostalgia at the loss of so many beloved traditional local businesses.
Further change of this nature could be on the cards for Ballina in the coming weeks with permission being sought for more change-of-use plans for well-known town-centre properties.
Mayo Co Council has been asked to grant planning permission for a change of use of a former florist shop and residential unit on Tone St (a.k.a Garden St) to a restaurant.
The new development would offer both dine-in and take-out services and the applicant plans to construct a single storey extension on site for use in connection with the restaurant.
Meanwhile Keegan’s Bar may also be about to disappear from the Tolan St (a.k.a Bridge St) streetscape.
It is the subject of a development proposal that seeks to renovate and change its use as a licensed premises to an apartment building comprised of three apartments and one studio apartment with access from either Tolan St or Helly’s Lane.
A decision on the latter proposal is due from the planning authority on September 23 next while the proposals for the Tone St florist shop are due to be decided on by September 28 next.