BY JACKIE KEOGH
Cork County Council has sold a right of way across the Fairfield car park in Skibbereen for €100,000 to a property developer – a decision that may upset the organisers of the town’s successful Farmer’s Market.
However, the decision may also open the way for the proposed Aldi discount store to be built early next year.
A former general election candidate had previously raised concerns about the sale of the right of way, claiming claimed it would interfere with the Saturday Farmers’ Market. Ed Harper also expressed concern over the provision of public car parking spaces in the town.
Aldi has declined to comment on the project, which Shead Properties Ltd has undertaken to complete on the retailer’s behalf.
In November 2013, Skibbereen Town Council – the planning authority at the time – granted Shead Properties permission to build a 10,000 sq ft single-story discount store and 72-space car park in the town centre.
Eighteen objections were submitted to Skibbereen Town Council, and the Council’s decision was subsequently appealed to An Bord Pleanala.
In April 2014, An Bord Pleanala upheld the decision made by Skibbereen Town Council, but the project appeared to stall, and the issue of a right of way had not been fully clarified.
At a meeting of the Municipal District of West Cork on July 6th last, Council members indicated that they were in favour of selling a right of way over the Fairfield car park for €100,000 to Shead Properties, to facilitate the building of a supermarket.
They, however, were obliged to forward their recommendation to a full meeting of Cork County Council. And, at a full Council meeting on July 27th, the members agreed to sell the right of way for €100,000.