Council plans to compulsorily buy Beamish and Crawford brewery site

Cork City Council is poised to compulsorily acquire the former Beamish and Crawford brewery site in Cork using powers under the Derelict Sites Act.

Council chief executive, Ann Doherty confirmed yesterday that the process is designed to assist in the perfection of title on the site.

The move will facilitate any potential redevelopment of the site by a development company linked to the property’s owners, brewing giant Heineken Ireland.

The site on South Main St has planning permission for an events centre proposed by Heineken and BAM.

Their project is one of two in the running for State investment to secure the development of a multi-purpose events centre in Cork, with a decision expected before Christmas.

The former brewery, which ceased operations in 2009, was declared a derelict site on November 21, 2011.

In line with the city council’s policy on derelict sites, city officials entered into discussions with Divarium Holdings Ireland Limited, the owners of the property, with a view to having it rendered non-derelict.

However, solicitors acting for the development company, which has its registered offices at Heineken’s headquarters in Cork, indicated there was a difficulty with the title of the property.

The legal advisers said that, in the absence of good marketable title for the property, it would be “imprudent” to carry out redevelopment works.

Following negotiations, the city council advised Divarium that it would be prepared to use its powers under the Derelict Sites Act, 1990 to acquire the property with the ultimate aim of the removal of the dereliction.

The move was subject to several conditions, including:

- Divarium is to complete the purchase of any other interests in the property and obtain vacant possession;

- The city council is to be indemnified against any claims for compensation under the provisions of the Derelict Sites Act and Divarium is to waive any claim for compensation arising out of the extinguishment of any title or interest or estate held in the property;

- The council is to be indemnified from and against all claims of any kind in respect of damage or injury to persons or property while the property is in council ownership;

- It was an expressed condition that Divarium would during the process be responsible for repairs or works required to the premises pending completion of the acquisition.

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