Nua Healthcare's Portlaoise care home refused by Laois County Council

Planning

Nua Healthcare's Portlaoise care home refused by Laois County Council
By Ryan Dunne ryan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Nua Healthcare has been refused planning permission by Laois County Council for the second time in a month, with plans for a Portlaoise care home rejected just a week after Nua had lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanala against the council’s refusal of a proposed care home in Portarlington.

Within the last week, the council refused permission to Maple Healthcare Ltd, which also operates in Ireland as Nua Healthcare, to build a new care home in Portlaoise providing residential care for people with high support needs.

This comes just weeks after the council refused the company permission to change an existing dwelling to a residential care unit, and construct a 235 sqm single storey extension to the building, at Rathbeag, Lea Road, Portarlington.

Regarding the Portlaoise application, the group said the development would be a prototype house for a new state of the art care model that Maple Healthcare plan to roll out across the country for persons with high support needs.

The new building would have offered accommodation for six individuals, providing a private bedroom ensuite and private living space with direct access to a small private terrace.

It would have required 24-hour staffing with up to 12 staff members required during the day and typically two during the night.

However, the council has now refused the company permission.

This is the second planning application by Nua Healthcare which has recently been refused by Laois County Council, with an appeal lodged by Nua with An Bord Pleanala against a decision made by the council in April.

Back in February, the group applied to the council for permission to change an existing dwelling to a residential care unit, and construct a 235 sqm single storey extension to the building, at Rathbeag, Lea Road, Portarlington.

In their application they said the existing bungalow is used “to provide a community based dwelling for people with Asperger Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, intellectual disabilities and acquired brain injuries”.

However, the plans were rejected by Laois County Council, who said the application contravenes the Laois County Development Plan 2011-2017, which states the policy is to “encourage the integration of healthcare facilities… and discourage proposals that would cause unnecessary isolation or other access difficulties, particularly for the disabled, the elderly and children”.

Nua Healthcare have now appealed the council’s decision on this application to An Bord Pleanala.