Medical centre opposed

The Dublin Road/Block Road junction, Portlaoise.
Residents on the Dublin Road in Portlaoise have raised concerns over the proposed construction of a new medical centre in the vicinity of their homes.

Residents on the Dublin Road in Portlaoise have raised concerns over the proposed construction of a new medical centre in the vicinity of their homes.

Portlaoise Service Station Ltd has applied to Laois County Council for permission to build a new two-storey medical centre on the Dublin Road, with a single storey pharmacy unit. A new signalised junction will be installed on the Dublin Road/Block Road junction, with new signalised access onto the Dublin Road. The new centre will open from 8am to 7pm, seven days a week, with eight employees.

Laois County Council has already given consent for parts of the Dublin Road and the Block Road to be included within the boundary of the proposed development.

Submissions have been made to the council by a number of residents. Mr Padraic G. Whelan, St Colman’s, Dublin Road, on behalf of Mr Brian Delaney, Dublin Road, and Mr George Percy, Fielbrook, suggested that 9am would be a more appropriate opening time and parking should not be available 24 hours per day to ensure “the practical elimination of anti-social behaviour”.

The current height of the wall between Mr Whelan’s property and the development should be discussed, and trees planted. CCTV should be installed throughout the site, and appropriate lighting. The windows of the medical centre should be opaque in the interest of privacy.

A further submission was made by Mr Michael Hanley, sent to the council by agent, Mr Daniel Keane.

Besides the increased traffic hazard, Mr Hanley said there was already an over proliferation of pharmacy units in the area. He felt it would be “irresponsible and bad planning to allow permission for a development of the same nature within such close proximity”.

A decision is now due from Laois County Council by December 04.