Town meeting to decide on future of multi-million development project

A MEETING of Midleton Town Council next month may decide the fate of a proposed multi-million euro commercial and housing development earmarked for a five-and-a-half acre site just off the town centre at Riverside Way.

The locally-based Heritage Developments (Mogeesha Holdings Ltd), are proposing a three-phased project that will incorporate retail, housing and office developments, restaurants, and two multi-storey car parks capable of accommodating 500 vehicles.

Up to 10 social and affordable housing units are visualised as part of the overall development which it is hoped will come on stream by the end of 2005 with 70 full-time jobs being created.

A small section of the site is already zoned for commercial development with full planning permission granted for a McDonald’s restaurant on which the construction programme is expected to get under way within a month or so. In that same location the major German supermarket chain, Lidl, has recently opened its second outlet in East Cork.

Part of that proposal also includes overhead offices together with four retail units and additional second and third floor apartments. Phase two will embrace two-and-a-half acres and will, subject to planning permission, commence next January with a completion date of December that same year. It will incorporate a number of retail units totalling more than 28,000 square feet and 36 apartments/offices. There will also be provision for a multi-storey car park for 200 cars.

The construction of the third and final phase has been tentatively pencilled in for March of next year and will include the provision of further retail units, and up to 48 apartments/offices with a second multi-storey car park capable of accommodating 300 vehicles.

To enable the project to proceed however the developers will need to have the remainder of the proposed location rezoned in the Midleton Development Plan.

With that specific purpose in mind representatives of the company will make an oral presentation to the next town council meeting on June 10.

It is understood that there will be no interference of any kind with a nearby bird sanctuary with no disruption of the wildlife habitat.

Neither will there be any inconvenience for those who use the Pontoon Walkway.

Heritage Developments propose to resurface the walkway together with the provision of additional public lighting as part of their overall development.

The council’s longest serving member, Noel Collins, who was taken on a tour of the site last weekend by company representatives, said yesterday he was “suitably impressed’’ by the details outlined to him.

“Ordinarily I am wary of major developments, but I can see huge benefits accruing from this one,” he said.

“If the sanctuary was under any level of threat then I could not go along with the proposed development,” he said.

The June 10 town council meeting then will be paramount as far as the proposed development is concerned.

And should the councillors agree to a modification of the Town Development Plan it will then be put on

public display with members of the general public free to make submissions as they see fit.

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