An Aldi supermarket is on its way to Trim after the local town council reached agreement on the sale of a site at Watergate Street to the discount retailer.
At this week's Trim Town Council meeting, councillors heard that agreement has been reached on the sale of the 1.75 acres site known as the old swimming pool site for a sum of €585,000 to the German supermarket chain.
The site at Watergate Street was originally to be developed as civic offices but work stalled in 2001 after hydrocarbon pollution was discovered and this led to protracted legal proceedings.
Remediation works were carried out and the site was finally handed back to the council in December 2012.
At Monday's council meeting, standing orders were suspended for town manager Des Foley to brief members on the proposed sale. He told members that following extensive negotiations and discussions with Aldi, the retailer had made an offer of €585,000 on the site.
He said the site is “not a greenfield site nor a clean site”, adding that foundations had been poured and there is also a right of way to an adjoining landowner and the town walls adjoin the site requiring a setback - and these factors would have been taken into account by Aldi as it made its offer. The site is also in a floodzone.
While remediation works were carried out, he said significant extra work would be needed and the offer was made in this knowledge.
Mr Foley explained that the offer is subject to Aldi obtaining satisfactory planning permission and legal contracts. It would be a condition of the contract that the balance of the site could not be used for a discount foodstore.
An Aldi discount foodstore is proposed along with 106 car parking spaces. It is expected to be part of the contract that Aldi submit a planning application within two months from the signing of the contract.
Mr Foley recommended acceptance of the offer, saying it was more than €330,000 per acre which he had been told was far higher than any price offered for retail in recent times.
“It will be a great boost to Trim and the town centre and should increase footfall. I would have no hestiation in recommending this offer in principle,” he said. The next stage will the drawing up and signing of contracts.
The meeting heard pre-planning discussions have already been under way and that the council planners would be anxious to achieve a good and sensitive design.
News of the proposed sale to Aldi was welcomed by local councillors who said the store would be a great boost to the town. Councillors also welcomed the fact it would clean up an area of Trim that had become an "eyesore".