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Objection to new Portlaoise surgery plans

The owner of a Portlaoise filling station has appealed to An Bord Pleanála a decision by Laois County Council to grant permission to a rival filling station owner to build a new business on the town’s Dublin Road.

Portlaoise Service Station Ltd, who own Downeys Filling Station, and Mr Michael Hanley, of the Applegreen Service Station, both made planning applications to build a medical centre or doctor’s surgery at a stretch of land opposite the Midlands Hospital, Portlaoise.

Mr Hanley’s application dated back to 2009, when he was granted permission to change the use of the Freedom Health & Fitness Gym located next to the Applegreen Service Station to a pharmacy and doctor’s surgery. Mr Richard and Mr Jeremiah Downey objected to this application, claiming right of way issues, and they also appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála, but withdrew the appeal.

Last year Portlaoise Service Station Ltd made their own application to Laois County Council to build a two-storey medical centre at a disused site next to Applegreen.

Mr Hanley subsequently objected to this, saying there was already an over proliferation of granted pharmacy units in the area.

In a letter to the council dated January 9 this year, Mr Jason Redmond, a chartered engineer acting on behalf of Portlaoise Service Station Ltd, addressed Mr Hanley’s objection by saying:

“It would appear Mr Hanley’s main objection is that granting the proposed development would provide competition to Mr Hanley’s planning application for a pharmacy unit.”

It was also pointed out that there are no existing pharmacy units on the Dublin Road, and the new unit would be “located conveniently” beside the hospital.

Laois County Council subsequently granted permission to Portlaoise Service Station Ltd’s application, a decision Mr Hanley has now appealed.

A decision on Mr Hanley’s appeal is due from An Bord Pleanála by July 7.

 

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