Leaving IDA out of Portlaoise plan would make it 'seriously lacking'

Laois TD also calls on council to promote presence of big An Post centre in Portlaoise

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

IDA Business Park Portlaoise, Co Laois

IDA Business Park Portlaoise.

The new Portlaoise town will be seriously lacking if there is no focus on the IDA business park while Laois County Council must also promote the presence of a big postal centre in the town according to a Laois TD. 

In his submission to the Portlaoise Draft Local Area Plan 2018-2024 Sean Fleming said objectives set out by the council in relation to the development of the land Togher area is essential.

However, he said is important that the not only concentrates on land in the ownership of the Council but also land held by other public bodies for development purposes.  

He pinpointed the IDA business park off the Mountrath Road which has just two companies.

"There needs to be an objective included, relating to working with the IDA in respect of the development of their site on the Mountrath Road.  Everybody locally criticises the lack of interest by the IDA in Portlaoise but it would not be sensible to allow the IDA say we ignored their State owned site in our Local Area Plan.

"Accordingly, we must put in a positive objective in relation to this matter or otherwise our plan will be seriously lacking." he said.

While the policy on to develop Togher is very welcome he said An Post's big operation in Laois cannot be left out.

"There should be an additional policy inserted recognising the fact that An Post’s largest distribution centre outside of Dublin is based in Portlaoise.  The Mail Centre in Portlaoise deals with all inward parcels coming into Ireland both for distribution and for customs purposes.

"They also deal with extensive deliveries of parcels throughout the country and also the regular letter post on a daily basis.  We should promote the existence of this facility in Portlaoise as part of the Local Area Plan to heighten the awareness of Portlaoise as a distribution/logistics centre," he said.

The TD added that the private sector cannot be forgotten about.

"We also need to have objectives and policies in this area in relation to working with the non-State agencies especially the private sector in relation to the promotion of employment in the town.  It is not sufficient only to deal with the initiatives which the Council are directly involved in. This must be expanded as most employment in the town and surrounding areas comes from the private sector," he said.

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