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€1.5bn development for Drogheda Land bank development to include multiplex cinema, retail park, restaurants and leisure centre

The first step of a €1.5 billion development near Drogheda, which will include 2,000 homes, has been taken with the lodgement of a planning application for a 12,000-seat stadium for Drogheda United Football Club.

The application also seeks permission for a 4km road, a leisure centre, parking for 1,800 cars and a multiplex cinema with 12 screens, along with a retail park, service station and restaurants.

The permission is being sought by Doyle Developments, Drogheda United FC, and others for about 35 acres of the overall 170-acre site, which is expected to be rezoned from agricultural use next year.

It will mean that the existing run-down grounds opposite the hospital in Drogheda will be vacated by last year's Setanta Sports Cup winners in a land swap deal which will see the developer applying for 140 residential units. United will tog out instead at Bryanstown, the location of the massive scheme, which is one and a half miles from Drogheda Town centre and 20 minutes to Dublin airport on the M1.

In about six months the development company is expected to apply for 2,000 new homes set amid local parks, three schools, a community centre and neighbourhood centre -- the development is expected to be phased over a number of years. The site is also close to another scheme where other developers are proposing a further 2,000 residential units.

Bill Doyle of Doyle Developments has spent two years negotiating with the various land owners. Overall acquisition costs are estimated to be €80m, rising to €100m when infrastructural works are completed.

The developer is believed to have a considerable land bank in the town of Portlaoise and is an owner of the Barrington Tower site in Foxrock, which was sold dramatically at auction two years ago for a mere €21m over the €15m guide.

There is also a planning application under consideration for this Dublin 18 site, which will include 47 semi and detached housing units, 43 duplexes and 58 apartments. Doyle was unavailable for comment on the stadium development.

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