OBJECTIONS have been lodged with Laois County Council by a number of residents of the Dublin Road in Portlaoise, who are objecting to the proposed development of a new filling station near their homes which they say will cause huge safety issues and could devalue their properties.
Portlaoise Service Station Ltd have applied to the council to construct a single storey retail shop building, located on the Dublin Road opposite the hospital. The development will comprise of a retail area with an off-licence and food preparation area, disabled toilet, strongroom, sluice room, store, chiller and freezer room, and a canteen and staff toilets.
Also proposed is a new forecourt with three pump islands, with the installation of three underground fuel storage tanks, associated pipework and overground fill points, a brush wash facility and a main ID sign.
It is also proposed to construct a roundabout to facilitate safe access between the development and the public road prior to the construction of the Part VIII Laois County Council approved roundabout. Alterations will also be made to the existing site access to allow for new a entrance/exit onto the proposed roundabout at the junction with Block Lane.
The total building floor area is 239.5 sqm.
A number of objections were 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 the noise levels associated with such a business would be totally unacceptable in a residential area. He also felt that an off-licence would be unacceptable 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 and his family made a further submission to the council, in which they say that the plans they were shown do not indicate the full extent of their property, as an extension was built onto their 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.
A submission was also made by the Petrogas Group Ltd, Kildare, who claim that permission was refused to the same applicants for a filling station development which is almost identical to the current application. They say that the only difference between the two applications is a reduction in the size of the retail building and its relocation from the rear to the east of the site. Petrogas point out that the previous application was refused as the area was zoned for residential purposes and the development would cause a general disturbance. Traffic issues were also raised.
A decision is due from the council at the end of the month.