Decision imminent on Nua Healthcare's rejected Portarlington unit

Ryan Dunne

Reporter:

Ryan Dunne

Email:

ryan@leinsterexpress.ie

 Nua Healthcare facility

One of Nua Healthcare's facilities in Portarlington.

A decision is imminent from An Bord Pleanala on a planning application by Nua Healthcare, refused by Laois County Council, to build a new residential care unit in Portarlington.

Nua had 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 that the proposed site, located in an unserviced rural area characterised by one-off houses and farmsteads, conflicts with the core strategy objectives and settlement strategy of the Laois County Development Plan, 2011-2017.

The council said that the required levels of services to accommodate the proposed development, such as footpaths, public lighting, shops, social or community services, are not available in the local rural area.

The council felt that the applicant did not include a detailed justification on why this particular service has to be located in this particular rural unserviced location and what other locations were considered before the applicants chose this site.

In the wake of the council’s refusal, Nua Healthcare Services lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanala.

The decision from An Bord Pleanala is due by August 29 next.

This is the second planning application from Nua which was rejected by Laois County Council recently, with the healthcare provider also refused permission to build a new care home in Portlaoise providing residential care for people with high support needs.