PLANS to sell off the former Abode site in Mahon — which became a den for anti-social behaviour and drug use — have hit a snag.
Cork City Council had proposed the sale of the troubled site on the Skehard Road for €83,700 plus VAT, though local councillors called for further information to be provided amid concerns the price was too low. Councillors in the area have previously been told that the money would be used, at least in part, to fund the development of a library in Mahon. The south-east is the only ward in the city without its own library.
The former charity building lay idle for more than a decade after Abode moved to a purpose-built site nearby. It fell victim to vandalism, with drug use and fires reported as issues. In a bid to combat these problems, the building was demolished in April 2017 and the site listed for sale.
However, elected members moved to block the proposed sale amid fears that the City was not getting value for money.
It is understood that nearby gas lines pose potential limitations on the size and scale of any potential future developments, though elected members called for further details on the matter.
Fianna Fáil councillor Nicholas O’Keeffe said that it is ‘vital’ that more comprehensive information is given before any sale is agreed.
“It is incumbent on councillors to ensure the maximum value is obtained for the site and that the campaign for a south east library — formerly earmarked for this site — is maintained,” he said.
“I see no reason why this matter cannot come back before us as quickly as possible once all possible details are discussed with elected members.”
Sinn Féin’s Chris O’Leary said that the proposed sum of €83,700 was insufficient.
“This sale has to go towards funding our library,” he said. “We are told this is the true value but it wouldn’t go far.”
The former Lord Mayor called on the city to get creative with ideas for the site, including the option of the local authority to develop the site itself before selling it off.