Residents of unfinished Portarlington estate appeal council decision for new houses

Housing construction

Residents object to eight new houses in The Glen.

Residents of The Glen at Portarlington’s Kilnacourt Woods have appealed to An Bord Pleanala a council decision to grant permission for an extra eight houses in the unfinished estate, raising a number of concerns including fears over increased traffic problems and antisocial behaviour.

Le Monde Holdings Ltd were granted permission by Laois County Council for the retention of floor slabs and the completion of eight two-storey terrace houses either side of the existing apartment block.

However, local residents feel aggrieved that works on the estate ceased in June 2009, leaving the area unsafe and untidy looking. They fear that any further development will increase traffic volumes and the presence of seven proposed new laneways could lead to increased antisocial behaviour.

“The development was abandoned with scaffolding still erected on the unfinished apartment block and no windows or doors installed,” said Noel Bodie, who made a submission to Laois County Council on behalf of The Glen Residents Association.

Outlining the history of the estate, Mr Brodie said that the developer was granted an extension of time in 2009, but no works were carried out. Another extension was granted in 2011, but then in 2014 another extension was applied for and refused.

The residents made numerous requests to have The Glen taken in charge and were advised by the council that planning permission was still live.

In February 2017, the council provided the developer with a list of items to be addressed prior to the council taking the estate in charge, with stipulation that the works should be completed within three months. Three months later nothing was done and residents were frustrated at the lack of progress.

A further submission was made by Mark Gavin, The Glen, signed by some 16 residents, calling for the current estate to be completed and taken in charge before any new works were approved.

Mr Gavin also contacted the Leinster Express to raise the issue, saying that since the start of the recession the estate has been left unfinished and for a long time was quite dangerous for kids and a real eyesore for residents.

“Our objections have been overruled and the developer is now clear to carry on as if nothing ever happened over the last ten years,” said Mr Gavin.

In addition to the residents, submissions were also made by Cllr Tom Mulhall and Cllr Aidan Mullins, who raised concerns over previous planning permissions not being completed by the applicant and the high density of the development, which could lead to increased traffic problems.

Despite these submissions, the council granted permission to Le Monde Holdings Ltd subject to 21 conditions.

The Glen Residents Association have now appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanala.

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