Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Questions (295)

Dara Calleary

Question:

295. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Question No. 387 of 11 June 2019, the reason planning permission was allowed to lapse on the site; if IDA Ireland is engaged in a process to reapply for planning permission on the site; if so, the timeline for the process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26190/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

As the Deputy will appreciate, IDA Ireland has to make decisions on developing lands based on a number of factors, including likely demand and available funding. It is my understanding that, despite planning permission having been secured, there was limited interest from Agency clients for the site in question. Coupled with budgetary demands elsewhere, this resulted in the physical development being paused, although the lands continued to be marketed by the IDA to potential investors.

Having said that, I am informed that the IDA has now commissioned an updated assessment of this land bank with respect to its investment potential. A revised planning application is currently being considered as part of this assessment.

It is positive that planning permission was previously secured on this site and it is helpful to the Agency in their ongoing efforts to showcase its potential to investors. The IDA continues to actively market this site, together with the wider area, to clients that may be interested in expanding or locating in County Mayo.

The pipeline for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Mayo remains positive. In 2018 there was a 7.5% increase in employment by IDA client companies with 344 net new jobs added. The IDA has also recently secured a tenant for an Advanced Technology Building (ATB) that was constructed in Castlebar as part of the Agency's Regional Property Programme. The decision by the firm in question to locate in that ATB, and thereby create 150 jobs in Castlebar, demonstrates the area's potential and its attractiveness to overseas investors.