Progress on sale of former Mayo county library property outlined

Elected members of Mayo County Council will be asked at their meeting on October 10 to grant approval for the sale of the former County Library property at Mountain View in Castlebar.

The site was placed on the property market a number of months ago.

It is now being sold to Mr. Ward McEllin, Meenavale, Mountain View, Castlebar, for a sum of €260,000, subject to contract.

The land was originally purchased by the council for £250 around 1939 for the purposes of building the library. Vendor details were not recorded at the time.

A report by Elaine Moyles, senior executive officer of the council's property, internal audit and organisational change department, said the property was fully vacated in 2007 and was subsequently used as a file store.

"There are a number of development constraints with the site due to an ESB substation located on it, requiring accessway and a significant difference in the level to the rear of the site with the adjoining property.

"Given the size of the property at 0.115ha and its condition, it is considered unsuitable for any further corporate office accommodation needs.

"Provision of housing was considered at the location, subject to planning. A small number of housing units could be provided on the site.

"However, the development constraints due to the difference in the levels of the site to adjoining properties and the location of the ESB substation makes it less attractive and it could be complicated and expensive to develop.

"Mayo County Council is currently progressing a number of social housing options in Castlebar, including on the nearby Ellison Street.

"If the council developed the site for social housing, the value of the site would not be recouped from the department."

Ms. Moyles added that at a meeting of Castlebar Municipal District on March 30, 2015, it was agreed that the building would be demolished and converted into a car park.

"While this is an option for the site, the decision to advertise the property for sale on the open market provided further insight to the council on the appetite for such properties and the value of money which could be generated for such a sale.

"The provisional sale figure reached with the purchaser, subject to Section 183 approval, is €260,000, which exceeds the guide price," she added.