SHIPTON GROUP HUMBLED BY FERMOY SUPPORT
The Shipton Group is ‘humbled’ by the support shown for its proposed €100million retail centre for Fermoy, developer Clayton Love Jnr said this week. Mr Love’s comments came as Mayor of Fermoy Tadhg O’Donovan presented the Shipton Group with a petition of over 3,000 signatures in support of the planned development that was denied permission by town council planners.
“As a developer it’s a very humbling experience to get 3,000 signatures plus from a community to say they want you. As you are well aware developers normally get a different reaction but on this occasion it is very humbling and very much appreciated.
"On top of this we’ve had a huge amount of emails, letters and phone calls from people telling us to keep going, don’t give up and obviously that is very helpful and encouraging. Three thousand signatures is a lot of signatures in any community and we are absolutely bowled over by it,” Mr Love told The Avondhu.
Mayor O’Donovan said that the retail development represented the strongest hope for Fermoy going forward, citing the multimillion-euro investment made by the Shipton Group, bought the Cork Mart site in Fermoy for €22.5 million, as a ‘courageous step’.
While the petition is proof positive of the desire for such a development in the town, Mr Love warned that it will not affect the outcome of the Shipton Group’s appeal.
“Unfortunately it will have no impact at an Bord Pleanala level. They will view the file in a very clinical way. In terms of our commitment to Fermoy and given the economic climate, this is the bottom end of the cycle in terms of excitement for what we are doing, but it is very encouraging to get this type of support and it helps to keep us focussed on Fermoy.
"We are obviously very committed to Fermoy and it is a very time consuming exercise but this does help to keep us going and keep pushing to get this development delivered and open,” he said.
Mr Love added that the Shipton Group would analyse any possible rejection of its plans carefully, but that they are confident of their proposal.
“If the decision is in the negative obviously we will look at the reasons for that and we will look again at how we deal with that. We have to look at the economic reality of what is out there and we have to look at the reasons for any negativity but I don’t like to think in those terms. We are confident that what we have proposed is proper and is the correct type of development for Fermoy,” Mr Love said.
“Obviously times are different economically now but we are still committed to Fermoy. We are long term developers; we said that when we came here first. We don’t like to sell our developments; we like to hold onto them.
We will work our way through each cycle, this cycle in particular is a bad cycle, we have not seen one like this before but that does not mean we will not try to work our way through it like everybody else and we would hope that, as soon as we can, we get a positive decision and we get going with building,” he added.
Mayor O’Donovan said the people of Fermoy ‘had the rug pulled from under our feet,’ by the local authority planners’ decision to deny the development planning permission and added that the town’s concern was the message that the recent high profile planning rejections sent to potential investors. He also thanked Kathleen Hyland and Edward Meaney for their help with the petition.
Thursday 15th January 5:10pm