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Shane's €5m shops vision for recovery

WESTLIFE star and property mogul Shane Filan is planning a €5m development in his home town.

His development company Shafin, which he owns along with brother Finbarr is bucking the recession with its ambitious plans.

The brothers lodged a planning application for the development yesterday, which could create up to 600 jobs for Sligo and the village of Dromahair, Co Leitrim.

Company director Finbarr Filan said they were not dwelling on the doom of the present, but looking towards the future.

"The country is in a bad situation at the moment but in two years' time, all going well, it is going to be better."

The latest project is a Neighbourhood Centre in Ballinode, close to the Sligo Institute of Technology, which will be anchored by a large supermarket and contain five retail units and two takeaway outlets.

According to Shane, interest in renting the retail outlets has been huge.

"There is no doubt there is huge demand for this type of development," he said.

The centre, which, pending planning permission, will begin construction in 2012, will also include office space and 17 accommodation units, comprising of town houses and apartments.

"Sligo is badly served from a retail point of view, apart from a small retail core in the middle of the town, the peripheries have nothing," said Finbarr.

Meanwhile, work on another neighbourhood centre, close to Shane's home in Carraroe, on the outskirts of Sligo, is expected to begin in the spring.

The multi-million euro project, including a supermarket, six retail units and gym and creche was modified from the original designs after some objections.