30 Sept 2022

More delays for proposed development of former Texas site in Offaly

More delays for proposed development of former Texas site in Offaly

OFFALY county council has called for further information in relation to a plan to transform a derelict site in the middle of Tullamore into a development which would include a supermarket, cafe and office units.

This is the second application by Weavermay Ltd to convert the former Texas site, which has lain idle for a long number of years. Back in 2020 the company first applied to Offaly County Council to develop the location. However, the council described it as a prime opportunity site and asked instead for a masterplan for the area. Weavermay subsequently withdrew its application and a new plan was drawn up and submitted.

The application describes the proposed buildings as attractive and reflective of the best of modern design as well as respecting the existing established built environment. It contends that the site allows for the potential formation of a new urban quarter in Tullamore.

The application goes on to say the development proposes to create a new attractive public space which would reinvigorate the area and hopefully be a catalyst for development in the town at large.

But last Friday Offaly County Council decided to put that plan on hold in order to seek more information.

Meanwhile in a submission on the plan by the co-owner of the site has stated that its plans for the area are markedly different from those of Weavermay Limited.

Caynne Holdings Ltd purchased the site with Weavermay in 2018. It was later divided in half by agreement of both parties.

Caynne Holdings Ltd states that it is supportive of Weavermay’s intention to develop its portion of the site and stresses that in no way is its submission to be considered an objection to the development but is merely to protect its own interest in the planning process.

Its submission emphasises that the dividing line between the applicant’s portion of the site should be viewed as an agreed boundary.

Caynne Holdings Ltd say the applicants engaged with them during the course of the first planning application. However, it states that ‘’both parties vision for the site and what Tullamore needs, differ markedly.’’

Caynne Holdings says it wants to protect its intention to develop the site and to ensure that the current application does not detract in any way from its ability to develop it to its fullest potential.

Documents on file by the planning department of Offaly County Council also show that Weavermay have some difficulties with an early proposal by Caynne Holdings for its section of the property.

Weavermay says that an initial sketch which it has seen proposes the creation of a new pedestrian link potentially connecting Patrick Street with the former Tullamore Dew building.

''We do not believe that such an additional north-south link is either necessary or desirable. It has the potential to further detract from Offaly Street and from O'Connell St/Kilbride Plaza. If yet more footfall is drawn away from these areas. It therefore has the potential to damage the regeneration of these two streets. We believe that both of these existing streets already offer sufficient north-south connectivity through this part of the town which would be enhanced if these existing streets were to be enlivened by the development proposed herein.'' state Weavermay.

However, the applicant goes on to say that while they are not in favour of the proposed Caynne linkway the site has been laid out in such a way so as not to interfere with Caynne's plans.

Offaly County Council has not given a date for a new decision on the site.

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