Council set to raise price for land Asda needs to lay pipes
THE borough council is set to quadruple its asking price for Asda to cross its land to facilitate a storm outlet from its massive store under construction at Edenderry.
A fortnight ago, the council tentatively agreed on a £24,000 bill for the pipes from Asda to cross its land en route to the pumping station between Watson Street and Foundry Street. There are two feasible routes – one owned by Craigavon Borough Council and the other by a private developer.
Two weeks ago, it looked as if the council had come to an agreement with Asda when an ‘in committee’ meeting in the Civic Centre voted, on the casting vote of Mayor Carla Lockhart, to charge the supermarket £24,000 to run the mains through the council land. The DUP were the main supporters, stating they did not want to delay the hundreds of jobs being created.
But since the disclosure of “new information”, there were fears that the council could be under-charging, leaving councillors open to scrutiny by the local government. As a result, further negotiations were organised, involving both parties. And sums of up to £100,000 were included in the confidential papers presented at the meeting. No definitive sum was arrived at by the valuer, who said he needed more time to study the new information. One council source told the Portadown Times, “Asda were happy with the £24,000 offer, but the fresh information changed things.”
Meanwhile, it is reported that the owner of the other portion of land would allow the main storm pipes through free-of-charge, but there are conditions believed to be related to access at their main site, which is on the River Bann side of Watson Street, to and from Northway.
The worst scenario was that the issue could delay the Asda contract, although council sources insisted that it could be resolved sooner rather than later. “It’s a vital project for Edenderry in particular and Portadown in general and must not be compromised,” the source added. “It’s just the start of major projects at Edenderry and the catalyst for exciting developments.”
The issue is likely to be resolved at Monday night’s council meeting, a source told the Portadown Times, “with the settlement close to six figures”.
When the Portadown Times appraoched Asda for a response, a spokesperson said, “no comment’.
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Weather for Portadown
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
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Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
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