Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley is calling on the Government to ensure Laois is included in the new National Planning Framework and not ignored again as it was in the failed National Spatial Strategy.
“Laois has been completely left out of the process and none of the towns have been considered as a centre for development and growth,” he said.
Deputy Stanley has made a submission to the Department of Housing, Community and Local Government outlining the strengths of the county and the need for Laois to be part of this Planning Framework.
He is calling for a balanced regional development to reverse the situation of having a congested capital and the regions left behind.
He said Laois is in a strategic location with regard to the road networks, the M7 and M8 motorways connecting and the N77 and N80 regional roads running through the county.
The county town is less than an hour from Dublin and one a half hours from the port of Rosslare, and he emphasised the excellent rail network with three rail stations and direct connections to Dublin, Limerick and Cork.
He also pointed out that MANS broadband is in Portlaoise and broadband coverage is being upgraded in the rest of the county. He concluded his submission by saying that Laois has excellent facilities in terms of leisure and recreational use.
“It is imperative that Laois is not left out this time around as happened with the National Spatial Strategy 14 years ago under the then Fianna Fáil government,” he said. “The county has subsequently been deprived of inward investment and IDA jobs as a result.”