Wednesday 23 January 2019

Plans for petrol station on Southern Cross Road

The green field site on the Southern Cross Road
The green field site on the Southern Cross Road

Mary Fogarty

An application has been made for permission to build a petrol station on a site between the Southern Cross Road and Boghall Road.

Submissions can be made to Wicklow County Council by August 21, with a decision due by September 11.

The application has been made by Barnaby Investments, which recently acquired the lease to the council-owned site.

The application includes a shop, off-licence, café and toilets as well as a playground.

There would also be a new road connecting the Boghall and Southern Cross.

The lease for the lands in question was previously held by a vulture investment group Nechouka/Starwood, which has paid a sum of €780,000 to Bray Municipal District.

The money was allocated to a number of projects in Bray, including improving the harbour and seafront, Tidy Towns, roundabouts, sports pitches, and more.

Wicklow County Council received €14.4m in 2008 after Nechouka purchased 2.29 acres at Southern Cross as they wanted to locate a Superquinn in the area.

They were granted planning permission for a mixed use development on a combined site including the 2.29 acres and another nine acres.

As part of the lease agreement, a clause was included to impose penalties if construction on the site did not commence within year one, as agreed, at a cost of €100,000 per annum.

However, no construction works took place because of the 2008 recession.

In 2016, Nechouka wanted to vary the lease agreement to facilitate the sale of the site. They proposed to pay the full €778,000 owed to the local authority in penalties, on condition that the lease agreement would be reduced to €1 per year from 2017 to 2022. This would allow for a purchaser of the site to prepare a fresh planning application, allow for any potential appeals to An Bord Pleanála and also allow time to secure the necessary funding. If the development isn't completed in that time, then a further €500,000 will be accrued.

International vulture fund Starwood Property Trust Inc later became involved with the lease.

Bray People