26 Sept 2022

Major Laois Strategic Housing Development launched for Portlaoise

The planning application to be fast-tracked

A Laois builder has launched big plans to build more than 250 new homes as part of a Strategic Housing Development in Portlaoise.

The builder has bypassed Laois County Council and gone the route of applying to An Bord Pleanála to fast track the planning process for the project at Rathevan, Portlaoise. The new estate will the existing border Kilminchy and Rathevan estates.

Thomas Kelly & Sons Group, Westfield, Castletown has applied to build 262 homes of which 206 will be various types of houses and 56 will be apartments.

The houses include detached, semi-detached and townhouses of various sizes.

The developer also wants to build a creche and shop. Amenity space will include a lake.

Under the Strategic Housing Development process, An Bord Pleanála says developers can submit planning applications for housing developments of more than 100 residential units and 200 plus student bed spaces can now be made directly to its offices.

The Bord says the application process was introduced as part of Rebuilding Ireland to speed up the planning application process and accelerate delivery of larger housing and student accommodation proposals.

The public has a short time frame to make submissions since applications must be decided within a mandatory 16-week time period which also includes a public consultation period and submission of a report by the planning authority. Avison Young made the application to An Bord Pleanála on behalf of the builder on June 24, 2020.

A measure of the investment and possible ultimate value of the project is revealed in how much the developer has had to pay for the application to be processed. A cheque for €46,400.08 made payable to the board is included with the documents.

This is broken down as follows:

262 residential units + €34,060

Retail and childcare =  €2,350.08

Submission of Natura impact statement = €10,000

The developer has launched a website which contains a summary and details of the plan.

It describes Thomas Kelly & Sons Group, as "a long-established and experienced local building firm" from Laois. It adds that three generations of the firm have been "successfully building residential developments" throughout Laois and the surrounding counties.

"The proposed development will create a sustainable and logical residential extension to Portlaoise, providing quality homes that are suitable to the needs of modern households, both in size and composition, along with a mixed tenure type to meet existing and future market conditions. The proposal will create a quality living environment that promotes the concept of ‘neighbourhood’ and a greater sense of community that avails of improved connectivity through the provision of vehicular, cycle and pedestrian routes to the wider Kilminchy area.

"The proposed development will provide much needed residential development for the growing population of Portlaoise, and the proposal has been designed to ensure that it is appropriate to the local setting, respects the existing residential character of the area, and is of high architectural value. The proposal has been developed in accordance with the policies and objectives contained within the Laois County Development Plan 2017-2023 and Portlaoise Local Area Plan 2018-2024, as well as relevant national and regional policy and relevant ministerial guidelines," says the site.

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