Council blocks off entrance to empty estate

A Portlaoise estate targeted by anti social behaviour has been closed off after the last tenanted house was vacated two weeks ago.

Laois County Council secured the entrance to Hepburn Court and all its ten houses with concrete blocks last week.

Michael Rainey, Senior Executive Officer of the Housing Department, told the Leinster Express that the future of the estate was uncertain.

“All of the houses have been secured with concrete blocks, and the front entrance will be secured this week.

“In the long term, it is very difficult to say what will happen with Hepburn Court. There is a lot of individual house owners and we’re engaging with them now to try and solve this problem,” he said.

Hepburn Court has repeatedly been targeted by anti social behaviour and firebugs in recent years.

Two houses have already been demolished, and Laois County Council have secured a small number of titles out of the remaining ten houses.

Redevelopment of the estate, if any, may see a full or part demolishment.

“The council have secured a small number of titles for the units, but we cannot make any further plans until all of the title issues are resolved.

“We would like to see the site redeveloped, and that may possibly involve a full demolishment or part demolishment. We cannot put a timeframe on it,” Mr Rainey said.




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