Residents appeal new filling station

RESIDENTS of the Dublin Road in Portlaoise have appealed a decision by Laois County Council to grant permission for a new filling station near their homes, claiming that there could be huge safety issues in the area if this “eyesore” goes ahead.

RESIDENTS of the Dublin Road in Portlaoise have appealed a decision by Laois County Council to grant permission for a new filling station near their homes, claiming that there could be huge safety issues in the area if this “eyesore” goes ahead.

In recent weeks, Portlaoise Service Station Ltd were granted permission to build a smaller station than planned in their original application, on the site of a former service station located opposite the junction of the Block Road. The development will comprise of a retail area with an off-licence and food preparation area, as well as a new forecourt with three pump islands and three underground fuel storage tanks. It is also proposed to construct a roundabout to facilitate safe access between the development and the public road.

In giving permission the council has imposed several conditions on the project, including a road safety audit the results of which must get clearance from the Road Safety Authority. The developers also committed to scaling back the size of the project, including reducing the height of the building and cutting the car wash. They also met with some of the objectors to address concerns.

A number of objections were previously lodged with the council against the new development. One resident, Mr Brian Delaney said the proposed building would be an invasion of his privacy and he raised concerns over safety issues at the nearby main road. Mr Delaney claimed that such a large development could devalue the property in the area. Mr Delaney also said that the plans he was shown did not indicate the full extent of his property, as an extension was built onto his house in 1987 and this is not included on the plans.

Another resident, Mr George Percy also objected to the possible noise and invasion of privacy and claimed the new filling station would be “an eyesore”. Further objections were raised by Mr Paraic Whelan, and a submission was also made by the Petrogas Group Ltd, Kildare, who claimed that permission was refused to the same applicants for a filling station development which was almost identical to the more recent application.

Mr Delaney, Mr Percy, Mr Whelan and the Petrogas Group have now all lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanala against the council’s decision.

The board’s decision is due on June 10.