Congratulations to Waterford businessman Noel Frisby on his purchase of 32 acres of prime land on the Outer Ring Road close to the Farronshoneen Community Centre and the nearby shopping stores of Tesco, Next, etc.
In 2005, before the recession, the property in question was the subject of the most expensive land sale in Ireland when Des Purcell of Purcell Properties sold it on behalf of Waterford City Council to Edward Holdings for a whopping €44m.
The land was eventually taken over by the banks and its purchase price this time round has not been revealed and neither has Mr Frisby announced plans for the property. Obviously, it would be a prime location for housing either now or sometime in the future.
When Edward Holdings originally purchased the site from the City Council, it had planning permission for everything except food – but Marks and Spencer, who had agreed to be the anchor tenant and build the biggest of their stores outside of Dublin, refused to proceed without being able to sell its famous range of food products.
The company even offered to open a smaller store in the city centre if permission to sell food was granted but, despite much lobbying of the elected representatives, they refused to grant a material contravention of the City Development Plan citing the protection of city centre business as their reason.
One can only wonder what might have happened, for better or worse, if the planning change had been granted.