CLLR Willie Aird has questioned a Laois County Council decision to grant planning permission for a filling station on the Dublin Road in Portlaoise which will include a new roundabout, as he claims he has been waiting a decade for the council to provide funding for a roundabout at Fielbrook.
The councillor voiced his objection at last week’s electoral area meeting in Portlaoise, after he learned that there is no funding currently available for a roundabout at the entrance to Fielbrook, even though planning permission has recently been granted for the immediate provision of a roundabout at the junction of the Dublin Road and the Block Road.
“At the old Texaco station on the Dublin Road, Laois County Council have granted permission for a petrol station and it includes a roundabout there. This has now gone to An Bord Pleanala,” he said. “For at least ten years we’ve been looking for a roundabout at Fielbrook. Is it the case that we’re granting planning permission for a roundabout to someone who’s building something? On what grounds have the county council granted planning permission?”
The councillor went on to say that he had not been informed that a roundabout was to be included at the new filling station and he asked that the councillors be allowed to see the road design.
Town manager, Mr Michael Rainey said that he would pass the councillor’s request on to the roads department.
Cllr Alan Hand said that there were four or five estates off the Dublin Road which were landlocked, where it was nearly impossible to get out in the morning due to traffic.
“There’s a small village off the Dublin Road and it’s landlocked,” said Cllr Hand.
Area engineer, Mr Tom O’Carroll said that the new roundabout at the Block Road would hopefully help to break the traffic.
Replying to Mr O’Carroll, Cllr Aird recommended that the councillors visit the An Bord Pleanala website, where objections have been lodged against the new development.
In a written response to the councillors from PJ Dempsey of the roads department, it was explained that Fielbrook has been through the part VIII planning process and it is currently awaiting funding.
Laois County Council are not in a position to indicate a time scale for this scheme as they have no indication when funding will be forthcoming.