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Moville opposes Compulsory Purchase plans 20.11.07

by Simon McGeady, Inishowen Independent

PLANS by Donegal County Council to order landowners in Moville to sell land for a road-widening project, are to face strenuous opposition with several landowners faced with the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) insisting they will not comply.
Several local business people and other landowners in Moville reacted with anger and disbelief to the news Donegal County Council intend to make a compulsory purchase of sections of their land along the Derry Road to widen and realign the Derry Road. The order affects lands from a point 180 metres south west of the Moville Community College entrance to the bridge on the southern end of Moville Town.
The bridge at the south end of Moville town. Businesses affected by the CPO include Thompson’s coal-yard, Seamus Kelly’s clothes shop, Canny and Doherty’s Centra supermarket, the Top Filling Station and Joseph Doherty Motors. The Bay Field, the former home of Moville Celtic Football Club, is also subject to the CPO.
The owners identified in an advertisement published by the
council last week were notified of the Council’s intention by letter a day before the notice appeared in the press.
However several of the business people named in the CPO, told the Inishowen Independent that they intend to oppose the order, if possible.
Seamus Kelly of Kelly’s, a family-owned shoe and clothes shop located on the Derry Road, said he was surprised to learn that part of the land surrounding the family shop was to be taken by Donegal County Council.
“At this stage I am shell-shocked. There has been no consultation, and the council have made me no offer for the land,” said Mr Kelly, adding he’d heard nothing from the Donegal County Council since they approached him at the end of August 2006.
Mr Kelly expressed anger that part of the land to be taken by the council was designated ‘agricultural’ and, as he saw it, was devalued.
“Sections of the land have been downgraded from commercial to agricultural. We want market value for this land.”
Regarding the practice of Compulsory Purchase, Mr Kelly had this to say, 
The Derry road Moville.
“It’s like somebody coming to you and saying they want to buy your house, then coming back saying ‘right, we’re taking it.’”
Gerard Doherty, of Donagh Traders Ltd, owners of the adjacent Canny and Doherty’s Centra supermarket and Top filling station, was equally surprised at last week’s development.
The Carndonagh-based businessman thinks it’s right that the Derry Road should be improved for pedestrians and motorists, but he maintains the council should have negotiated a fair price for the required lands instead of going down the CPO route.
“We’ve been in negotiations with Donegal County Council about developing this site since we came here four years ago. The language I use is there will be pain here but that pain has to be shared,” said Mr Doherty in reference to the level of compensation his business should receive for loss of parking spaces and disruption to customers.
Car dealer Michael Doherty of Joseph Doherty Limited, said he stood to lose around twelve feet from his car lot on the Derry Road.
“The crux of the problem is that someone in the council decided to go ahead with building the new Community College before they had the infrastructure in place.”
A footpath constructed to serve Moville Community College resulted in the narrowing of the Derry Road.
Speaking on behalf of the owners of the Bay Field, Mr Harry Gillen told the Inishowen Independent that he would be opposing the CPO as he wanted a fair price for the land.
“What I would be getting would only be a fifth of what the land is worth and I am not willing to sell at that price.”
Moville-based councillor Marian McDonald has made council official Pat Gillespie aware of the displeasure of local landowners, however she does not anticipate that the council will enter into new negotiations with the above stakeholders.
The Inishowen Independent had intended to reproduce Donegal County Council’s map of the area outlined in the CPO, however the local authority declined our request for a copy of the map which is available for inspection in the council offices in Carndonagh.
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