A major Portlaoise car dealer wants to build a new car showroom on a site off Portlaoise’s Dublin Road which was originally earmarked for housing during the Celtic Tiger.
Company directors with Downeys Autostop, Richard and Jerry Downey have applied to construct a new 578sq/m single storey car sales showroom on a site between Rinuccini housing estate and Colliers Lane.
As part of the development, it is planned to build new access for cars and pedestrians from the existing Rinuccini estate road, with alterations to the existing estate junction onto the Dublin Road.
There will also be a customer car park, boundary walls, railings, planted verges and new footpaths, as well as advertising signs which will be 6m high by 2m wide.
The site is just opposite the location of Downeys’ existing car showrooms and filling station on the Dublin Road. This land was originally zoned for residential use and it was intended to expand the Rinuccini estate by building more houses there.
However, no more houses are now planned for this site, which borders the Kilminchy housing estate.
Laois County Council have given consent for Downeys to include parts of the public road within the boundary of the showroom, however this does not imply the council’s approval of the development.
If approved, the opening hours of the showroom would be Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6.30pm, Sunday 2pm to 5pm, and late night opening once a week to 8pm. There will be four staff members.
Laois County Council requested further information from Downeys, asking them to demonstrate that the existing storm water pipe that passes through the development site from the Dublin Road to the lakes at Kilminchy is adequate for the proposed development.
The council also looked for more information on the proposed changes to the entrance of Rinuccini estate, where they deemed the corner radius to be “unacceptable”.
In reply, Downeys said that the stormwater pipe is adequate to cater for the development. They also said that no adjustment is required to the existing traffic island.
However, the council have said this reply does not satisfactorily answer the concerns raised and they have asked Downeys to recalculate the discharge rate of surface water drainage, and to revise the corner radius for the entrance of Rinuccini from 9m to 7m.