The company behind a long-awaited redevelopment of Waterford city's north quays has lodged an application for planning permission for the mixed-use scheme.

Falcon Real Estate Development Ireland want to build new offices, residential buildings up to 17 storeys high, a hotel and conference centre, and a retail and tourism building on an eight-hectare site north of the River Suir.

The area of land was designated as a Strategic Development Zone in 2016 and Falcon have said that over 2,800 new jobs will be created by 2023.

Subject to planning permission being granted by Waterford City and County Council, work on the project could start by the fourth quarter of next year.

Plans were initially announced for the development in 2017 and Falcon Real Estate Development said that the submission of the planning application is "an exciting step forward for this landmark urban regeneration for the community".

In a statement, the company said they want to create a "high quality, amenity-led environment" for residents of the city and the wider region.

Overall plans for the North Quays area include the creation of a transport hub, east of the existing Plunkett Station, with the Government expected to fund this infrastructure. 

According to Falcon, the planned completed integration of the €500 million scheme with the existing urban centre of the city "will confirm Waterford as the gateway city of the South East Region, increasing regional and national visitation and tourism which will serve to reverse regional economic leakage". 

Project highlights include a seven-storey twin office block; five residential buildings to accommodate between 500 and 600 people; a 15-storey hotel and conference centre; a mixed-use commercial building including retail, food and beverage, leisure and tourism uses; and 30,000 square metres of open space and a riverside promenade.

Falcon Real Estate is part of the Saudi Arabian-based Fawaz Alhokair Group, a major developer of commercial and retail schemes.