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Brexit Impacts On Sale Of Dockyard Site In Passage

Brexit Impacts On Sale Of Dockyard Site In Passage

Writes Leo McMahon

The uncertainty around Brexit has impacted on Passage West with members of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District (MD) at their meeting on Monday, shocked to hear that the sale of the former Royal Victoria Dockyard site is off the market.

Senior executive officer Jim Molloy confirmed this was the case following meetings last week involving officials from the Government, senior management in the council and dockyard owners Doyle Shipping Group (DSG).

The issue was raised by Cllr Michael Frick Murphy (SF) who asked for an update on the site following the positive news in December when the council was approved for €1.87 million from the Government’s Urban Regeneration and Development Fund towards its acquisition.

One reason it currently wasn’t for sale, said Mr Molloy was Brexit necessitating a review of all shipping needs for the state at different ports and the other concerned what the Port of Cork intended doing (the latter has a master plan for the Harbour including Marino Point opposite Passage West and Ringaskiddy).

“The dockyard is off the market pending how these things fall out,” he continued and pointed out that the Department informed the council it wasn’t willing to fund any schemes adjacent to an operational docks.

“The funding was for the purchase of the dockyard. If the dockyard is not for sale then there is no funding to purchase it, because you can’t buy something that is not for sale”, said Mr Molloy who predicted it could be 12 months before any certainty could be offered to the previously proposed project.

Although it was a case of going back to scratch, he stressed that the council was working with and had a productive meeting with DSG to see what it could possibly do with elements of the site not being used for dockyard purposes and referred in particular to long vacant houses (Dock Terrace) at the Glenbrook end.

A second tranche of regeneration funding could be applied for in the coming weeks, said Mr Molloy and the council was keen to get proposals finalised for Passage West on that but until such time as the dockyard was put back on sale, it was stuck. Cllr Murphy described the news as “a very big blow”.

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