A full planning application for the new Ballinrobe Town Hall has been lodged with Mayo County Council.

The group behind the campaign to build the hall, at the site of the old hall on the Neale Road, held a public consultation process over the last number of months before finalising the plans with Ballinrobe-based chartered architectural and planning consultant Donal McCormack. The plans were lodged with the council this week.

The proposal is to build a hall with a gross floor area of 1000m2. It will consist of an auditorium and main hall area with seating for over 400 people.

Additionally, there will be a provision for balcony seating at first floor level. The main auditorium will possess the capacity for sub-division in order to allow a variety of uses at any one time. A mechanically demountable stage area will allow the possibility of the main hall floor to be extended to encompass the area under the stage.

Meeting and changing rooms, kitchen facilities, WC Rooms and an impressive foyer, posing a significant south-west aspect over a double height space, are all included in the schedule of accommodation. Within the building, a lift allows universal use of the entire building.

There is provision for a lighting gantry, incorporated sound systems and acoustic ceilings in order to maximise the variety of uses from the point of view of musical entertainment.

The natural gas, public sewer and water, along with on-site parking for both able and disabled users, are all provided as part of the associated services.

The design of this building is hoped to be of contemporary form, encasing the historical use of the previous town hall at this location within an internal stone wall feature. The use of aluminum glazing, zinc roofing and limestone cladding are all intended to provide an impressive appearance upon first visual inspection of the completed project.

“We are very happy to be at this stage. It is a vital step towards realising our aim of building a new hall for Ballinrobe. Hopefully we will get planning permission soon and this will allow us to move onto the next phase of the project, which will involve accessing public and private funding,” said committee chairperson Michael Sweeney.

The old hall was knocked in 1999 for safety reasons. A prospectus has been printed for the purpose of outlining the project in broad details, with particular emphasis on the demonstrated local need. In this prospectus, internationally acclaimed figures Moya Doherty and Brendan Graham have endorsed the project. The prospectus has already been circulated to key influencers at local, regional and national levels. It can be viewed online here.

Anyone interested in actively participating on this major project should contact chairman Michael Sweeney (087 2588 615) or secretary Siobhan O’Malley (087 207 2307).

Committee: Chairperson Michael Sweeney, Secretary Siobhan O’Malley, Treasurer Sean O’Connell, PRO Liam Horan, Rory O’Neill, Tony Walkin, Margot O’Shea, Michael Burke, Mary Jackson, Tim O’Sullivan, Gwen Costello, Des May, Sheena Duddy, Mike Finnerty, Emmet Humphreys, Cllr Damien Ryan, Cllr Patsy O’Brien.

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