Cork City Council to vote on selling land near Apple campus to IDA for €1.25m

Councillors were issued with a report outlining the proposal, which states that the disposal “is required to meet immediate employment needs in the area”.
Cork City Council to vote on selling land near Apple campus to IDA for €1.25m

The report says it is proposed to dispose of the freehold interest in an area of ground, referred to as ‘Lot A’, measuring approximately 3.81 hectares on land situated at Hollyhill, Knocknacullen West, Cork to the IDA’s Strategic Property Division for €1.25m – “the best consideration reasonably obtainable, based on an independent valuation by the State Valuation Office”.

CORK City councillors will this evening vote on a proposal to sell council-owned land on the northside of the city to the IDA for €1.25m.

The land is located at Hollyhill, Knocknacullen West, to the north of tech giant Apple’s campus.

Councillors were issued with a report outlining the proposal, which states that the disposal “is required to meet immediate employment needs in the area”.

It says that, in discussions with the IDA, it was indicated that more land may be needed “to meet short to medium employment needs” and the council had identified an additional 6.12 hectares for possible acquisition by the IDA.

The report says it is proposed to dispose of the freehold interest in an area of ground, referred to as ‘Lot A’, measuring approximately 3.81 hectares on land situated at Hollyhill, Knocknacullen West, Cork to the IDA’s Strategic Property Division for €1.25m – “the best consideration reasonably obtainable, based on an independent valuation by the State Valuation Office”.

This site, referred to as ‘Lot B’ is also at Hollyhill and the report stated that, should an application for purchase be made by the IDA, councillors would be informed.

A separate vote would then take place at a later stage if the IDA does proceed to submit an application to purchase this second parcel of council-owned land.

When contacted by The Echo, the IDA declined to comment on the specific plans for the land it hopes to acquire.

“A proactive, functional property and infrastructural ecosystem is a key driver and differentiator in winning, sustaining and supporting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI),” a spokesperson said.

“Under its Regional Property Programme, IDA Ireland’s Property Division, as part of its strategic planning, regularly reviews requirements, identifies, and purchases land banks and sites suitable for industrial development need for both FDI and indigenous enterprises.

“This purchase allows IDA to acquire a site which aligns with organisational objectives of delivering high quality property solutions for future industrial development need.” 

CAMPUS EXPANSION AND REGIONAL PARK

Sinn Féin councillor Mick Nugent said he would welcome this and suggested that funds acquired by the council if the land is disposed of could go towards developing a regional park in the North West ward.

“With the council potentially accruing the €1.25m for the disposal of the lands to the IDA, which may facilitate a possible expansion by Apple, it might be worth looking at allocating a portion of the proceeds from that towards developing a regional park in the North West ward.

“It’s already an objective of the council - there was a commitment there that the regional park would be supported but I’m just highlighting that this could be a possible way of perhaps helping to fund it,” he said.

“It would be of benefit to Apple employees in terms of an amenity right on their doorstep.” 

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Tony Fitzgerald said that potential further development in the ward is “very exciting” and “a vote of confidence in the area”.

“I understand that there have been extensive discussions between the council and the IDA to consider growth of potential developments in that area which is very exciting.

“The valuation has been intense and detailed, and the price is a good market value.

“It has passed the finance committee stage,” he explained. “It will now go before council next Monday.”

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