Tuesday 12 December 2017

Business suffering while motorway plans in limbo

VEGETABLES are being left to rot and job creation is being lost in Oylegate as a site for a new shed has not been identified. The Kehoe family, which has been in the vegetable business just south of Oylegate for more than 30 years, has been repeatedly denied planning permission.

At first planners ruled that the proposed location for their shed was too close to the existing N11 and could distract drivers. So they took advice from the officials and re-submitted their plans only to be shot down again. This time they were told that the building could not be approved as new site is on one of the possible routes of a future Enniscorthy to Rosslare motorway.

So far the Kehoes reckon that they have spent more than €7,000 on their applications for planning permission and they have nothing to show for it. The business was for many years run by husband and wife team of Mick and Annis Kehoe. Nowadays, their son Michael is the main driving force.

The latest planning refusal has cost him the loss of a €150,000 grant for which he successfully applied to Teagasc. The lack of a shed not only means that machinery is being stored in the open air but also that valuable harvested crops are being lost in poor weather.

'The shed should have been there two years ago. It is absolutely crazy,' commented Annis Kehoe. She revealed that a quarter of the last potato crop was lost because there was nowhere to put it. Other vegetables have also been spoiled, leading to thousands of euro in losses.

The latest planning application came with a letter from architectural adviser Joe Fox. He made the case to the county council that the Kehoes needed the shed in order to meet the requirements of their supermarket customers.

The local authority returned the application marked 'refused', with a ruling that it was premature pending the selection of the route for the Oylegate to Rosslare road improvement scheme.

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