TOWN COUNCIL BACKS 100M EURO SHIPTON DEVELOPMENT
Patience paid off at last Tuesday’s Fermoy Town Council meeting, when all the councillors, after a period of conscious deliberation, voted unanimously for the adoption of the amended €100 million Shipton retail development that’s expected to create hundreds of jobs in the town.
It was apparent that all parties present at the meeting, councillors, management and developers, were delighted with the positive outcome and looking forward to a turning of the tide in Fermoy.
The members warmly welcomed the development and there was a pronounced emotional element at the meeting. Fermoy needed some good news, and last Tuesday, it got it.
The project, rejected last year in the planning stage, has, it seems, a good chance of coming to fruition this time around.
Developer happy Speaking to The Avondhu, Clayton Love, director of the Shipton Group, said, “I am very happy particularly that all the councillors agreed and voted in favour of the plan and the adjustment.
“I am also delighted that the proposed changes came from the council management and obviously that is a good sign that everybody is working together to try to get this project off the ground.
“I will say that we are in difficult times and co-operation between councillors and officials is very important in successfully delivering the project. We are now obviously only at the start of the process and we will be entering discussions as soon as we can to finalise plans to tease out all the details of the design."
“We hope to get all of the nitty gritty issues ironed out at the pre planning stage. The last time we ran into technical difficulties over the look and style of the building. We will spend a lot of time ironing out these issues so that, when the project goes through to planning, it is the design that everyone wants,” Mr Love continued.
Ups and downs The Shipton Group has experienced the ups and downs of any business project, but they always persevered. The Blackpool development in Cork took 22 years and Douglas, 30 years.
“One thing we have learned is that you stick at them. We are in Fermoy for the long haul, but, hopefully, with a short delivery. The development will be a phased one in this climate, but we will keep developing until the whole project is finished. I think it will be a crucial element in making Fermoy competitive.
Fermoy is quite a special place. Its location is brilliant, the river setting is stunning and the town needs to take greater advantage of that. Hopefully we can contribute to that. The key to success in Fermoy is to create office space and an employment base here, looking after the traders,” Mr Love added.
If planning is granted for the project, Fermoy will receive a major job boost, with 200 - 250 people working in the construction phase, and, then, 350 to 400 people in long-term employment. Phase one of the project will consist of discussions with bankers, planners and possible tenants.
“One thing is for certain. We do not wish to build a project that has loads of empty units. We will build an anchor store first, with some other units, and in three or four phases, which should follow naturally one after the other, we will try to extend that, as the attraction of Fermoy grows,” he concluded.
Thursday 19th November 6:40pm