Plan for Portlaoise realm by 2017

Portlaoise

Plan for Portlaoise realm by 2017

A plan to overhaul 'old' Portlaoise should be ready by 2017, according to the project team commissioned to deliver a new Public Realm Strategy for the town centre.

Planning experts, architects and others will be in The Portlaoise Heritage Hotel on Tuesday, August 30 from 6-9pm, to meet the public in what is the first of a number of public consultation meetings .

The Portlaoise Public Realm Stategy project team and Laois County Council say they want to tell the public and interested parties, such as local businesses, what the project is all about.

Abbeyleix native Brian Maher is among those on the project team.

He is a Senior Planner, with Bilfinger GVA. He said the plan's prime focus would be on public areas .

“We are looking at the public space, at what the place looks and feels like. We are looking at how public spaces they can be improved and be more functional,” he said.

He added that it key projects can be identified and there would be opportunities to look at issues such as population decline and dereliction in the centre.

Mr Maher said the involvement of the private sector will also be factored into the outcome.

He said it could help developers to see opportunities.

Mr Maher said other consultation meetings will take plac in October and November with the aim to present a final plan being presented to a public meeting in January.

The strategy will the used to help inform the drawin gup o fthe next LocalArea Plan for Portlaoise which will run from 2016.

Laois County Council's Chief Executive John Mulholland will address this week's meeting before a number of workshops are held aimed at giving more details on the project.