Cork county councillors have urged their officials to look at the possibility of buying a dockyard to stimulate urban regeneration.
Councillors want to make a bid for the dockyard at Passage West, which is for sale with a guide price of €2.5m.
The call was led by members of the Ballincollig/Carrigaline Municipal District Council at a meeting of the full council in County Hall.
The disused dockyard is in their district. Cllr Eoghan Jeffers said it was a small price to pay considering the council’s €300m-plus annual budget.
“There’s around 10% dereliction in the town. This dockyard is extremely important to Passage. It would see real regeneration if we took it over. It would turn the town’s fortunes around,” Cllr Jeffers said.
He added that the council could also engage with the European Investment Bank to secure a loan for the property.
Cllr Seamus McGrath said unfortunately Passage West hadn’t reached anywhere near its potential.
“We have to step up to the plate here,” he said. “We should seek high-level engagement with government departments on this. I know Dáil deputies are supportive of the OPW getting involved in this. It’s an opportunity we can’t let go.”
Cllr Mary Rose Desmond said purchasing the dockyard was “vital”.
Cllr Marcia D’Alton said the three-hectare site had waterside frontage half a kilometre long and was separated from the town by a high wall.
“We should adapt our local area plans (LAPs) to make it become a new town centre,” Cllr D’Alton said.
Cllr Joe Harris said: “It’s a no-brainer [to purchase it]. When the boundary changes happen Passage West will be the new jewel in the crown. It would an absolute disaster to pass this up again.”
Cllr Kevin Murphy said there was “no question” that it was a prime site in a prime area. “In the heel of the hunt it’s cheap,” he said.
Council chief executive Tim Lucey said he respected the members’ views, but pointed out that he wouldn’t generally engage in property discussions in the council chamber.
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