Residents claim that plans changed on Borris Rd works

RESIDENTS of the Borris Road in Portlaoise claim that the ongoing realignment of the road by Laois County Council is in breach of the original plans they were shown before the development began, with some also alleging that deals have still not been brokered with the council in regards to compulsory purchase orders.

RESIDENTS of the Borris Road in Portlaoise claim that the ongoing realignment of the road by Laois County Council is in breach of the original plans they were shown before the development began, with some also alleging that deals have still not been brokered with the council in regards to compulsory purchase orders.

One woman, who did not wish to be identified, contacted the Leinster Express claiming that the original plans as outlined in the planning application, to which no objections were made, have not been adhered to. She said that a new road was to be built and the Borris Road was to be made into a cul-de-sac.

“Now, as we all know if any of us did not comply with planning permissions we would face serious repercussions,” she said.

The woman is just one of many Borris Road residents who feel that the council’s work on this phase of the development has taken too long to complete, causing traffic difficulties at the nearby secondary schools and parking issues for many.

However, senior engineer with Laois County Council, Mr Tom O’Carroll dismissed residents’ claims that the works have been slow and maintains that this phase has been carried out within the set time frame of 15 weeks.

“I don’t buy this whole thing about it dragging on, I don’t pay too much attention to the residents,” he said. “It was a big project and there was no way it could be done in ten weeks, it was never going to be done in the summer period.”

Mr O’Carroll also refuted claims that the works as completed are different to the original plans which residents were shown.

“When we built the existing stage, we dealt with many land owners and the documents were agreed,” he said.

In relation to the next phase, which should begin next year if funding is secured, Mr O’Carroll assured residents that the county council will involve them in the consultation process.

“We’re talking individually to people to accommodate them, we won’t just willy-nilly go in, we’re fair about it,” he said. “We’re available at all times to accommodate that.”

Mr O’Carroll said that the next phase will not affect as many households, nor will it involve as many road closures.

“It will be very limited full road closure, a few days and not weeks,” he said.

Pat Delaney of the roads department has said that the council appreciates that many home owners do not want to see change and they may find the developments disturbing, but Laois County Council are entitled to enter land for the purpose of works.

Mr Delaney has confirmed that as part of the compulsory purchase order process, a notice to enter can be served on a property owner before an agreement has been reached.

“Some people don’t want to sell and some people are unwilling to agree in the middle, so to progress the scheme notices to enter can be served,” he said. “It’s an ongoing process with valuers on both sides, but it’s possible that some people are not clear on the process.”