‘Haphazard extension’

A Mountmellick Business Park was rejected by An Bord Pleanala, as it would “a haphazard and disorderly extension of Mountmellick,” their report said.

A Mountmellick Business Park was rejected by An Bord Pleanala, as it would “a haphazard and disorderly extension of Mountmellick,” their report said.

It was Sean and Pat Flanagan’s second attempt at planning permission for the Derrycloney Business Park.

Thomas Gillson, on behalf of the Protection of Derryguille Environment Group, appealed Laois County Council’s decision to grant the Flanagan’s permission to build roads, footpaths and lighting for the proposed business park at Derrycloney on the Portlaoise Road in Mountmellick. At the time, the council also granted permission for a new roundabout on the N80.

“The Board considered that the proposed development would constitute a haphazard and disorderly extension of Mountmellick and would contribute to urban sprawl,” the Board’s direction read.

The Board said they were also not satisfied that alternative locations are not available closer to the town centre that would be better suited to the development of a business park.

In their report, the planning authority said the development would provide access to the wider site, which had been identified as a floodrisk.

They said the access would facilitate further development on the site, much of which has been zoned for further development.

“The proposed development would provide access to and facilitate the future development of the wider landholding, which is identified as being at risk of flooding, and much of which is zoned for further development.”

The planning report also said the the flood risk had increased on the site as a result of infill to facilitate the proposed development.

“The site has been subject to infill that would facilitate the proposed development by having raised the ground above flood levels, which as as a result decreased the flood storage available within the site, and consequently has increased flood risk elsewhere in the flood-prone catchment of the Owenass River,” the report said.

The An Bord Pleanala inspectors also felt that the proposed development would be against a “sequential development approach” for Mountmellick and premature. As a result the development was against proper planning and sustainable development.

“It is therefore considered that the proposed development, would be premature pending the development of other serviced lands closer to the urban core, and would set a precedent for the further infill and development of extensive zoned lands at risk of flooding. The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.