Cllrs support sale of lands to local businesses

Councillors attached to the Cavan-Belturbet Municipal District area have approved the sale of a portion of ground to the Ballyconnell-based Crust and Crumb.

The meeting of members last month heard that Crust and Crumb, Ireland’s largest manufacturer of ambient, chilled and frozen commercial and gluten free dough-based products, required the 0.168 hectare plot to expand carparking facilities within the Annagh Business Park.

Senior engineer for the area, Paul Mulligan, informed councillors the local authority had sought an independent valuation of the lands, hiring in the expertise of Dublin’s based advisors Avison Young.

They carried out a survey of the lands, located to the rear of the Crust and Crumb facility in December last year, with a valuation report completed the following month.

Crust and Crumb has been successful with several applications for development on the site, and the meeting was told that this was a “natural” move for the business, as an expanding local employer, to try to cater for its growing staff.

The Avison Young report examined comparable land sales in the local area, including where 1.72 hectares at Rathkeelan were sold in 2016 for €50,000, or an average value of €29,069 per hectacre.

Another site, 5.32 hectares in size on the Yellow Road, sold for €200,000 in 2021, with an average value of €37,593 per hectare. Other sites at Lurganboy (1.59) in 2018 sold for €62,000 (€38,993 per hectacre) and Moodoge, Castlerahan (1.16) in 2018 for €25,000 (21,552 avg).

The examination led to Avison Young valuing the council-owned parcel of land sought by Crust and Crumb at €8,400.

The report noted that, as the site is of particular interest to Crust and Crumb, they may be willing to pay “above” the market value to secure.

But Mr Mulligan outlined to the meeting that it was the council’s point to view to try and assist local business to develop.

Fine Gael’s Peter McVitty said he knew the site “well”, and it had a risk of becoming a “dumping ground” if nothing was done. He was therefore “happy” to propose the sale.

The motion to sell was seconded by Fianna Fáil’s Sean Smith. “It’s no good to anyone else other than Crust and Crumb,” he remarked.

Mr Mulligan agreed.


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