€2.5 million pay back
Laois County Council has confirmed to the Leinster Express that it is about to lease a site, earmarked for new business, to a scrap merchant. However, in doing so, the local authority will under cut a private landlord who offered another site, adjacent to the council’s land, to the scrap company MSM recycling.
It has also emerged that the council had preveiously served an enforcment notice on the scrap merchants over household waste that had been dumped outside their premises in Mountmellick.
Councillors were asked to approve the lease of 3 acres of a council owned site in Clonminam Industrial Estate to MSM Recycling on a short term lease for €26,000 per year for the first two years and €28,000 per year in each of the remaining years - €10,000 less than MSM had previosly been willing to pay for an privately owned adjacent site.
The council purchased a landbank of 5.5acres, which includes this three acre site for €2.5million in 2005. They initially planned to use the land for incubatory units to help new business.
Cllr Willie Aird raised an objection to the lease at last week’s meeting. He proposed that the disposal of land be adjourned to the next meeting, so councillors could meet on the site with council officials.
“They (MSM Recycling) were granted planning permission on one site, which takes a long time, then the council decided to set this (council) site to them. Now they will have to get planning permission on this site, effectively the landlord will be giving the planning permission,” he said.
Martin Kealy, Midlands Container Depot, who owns the site that MSM originally received planning permission for, said his deal with MSM Recycling fell through as they were unable to offer them a ten year lease.
“We had put a alot of work into it, we had hired a solicitor and an accountant, but our mortgage lender wouldn’t let us enter into a ten year lease with MSM Recycling. They wanted us to review the lease after five years, but MSM wanted a ten year lease with no review.”
A spokesperson for the Council’s planning department said that following an expression of interest in 2012 from MSM Recycling Ltd, the council entered into negotiations with the Company for a short term lease of 3 acres of that site, subject to the requirement for a further planning application to regulate and control all proposed activities, including the requirement for the necessary waste permit.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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