An Bord Pleanala has upheld a Laois County Council decision to grant permission for an extra 141 houses at Rockview Estate in Portlaoise, despite objections from local residents.
Towards the end of 2017, the council gave the greenlight to Breven Commercial Limited for the new houses at the estate on the Mountrath Road.
Also included in the plans are 330 new parking spaces at Rockview, a two-storey creche, and the relocation of the existing entrance closer to the entrance of the adjacent Ashton Manor estate.
During the planning stage, around 35 separate objections were made to the council by residents of both Rockview and Ashton Manor. Concerns were expressed over traffic congestion, pedestrian safety and possible anti-social behaviour from the presence of social housing.
Topping the list of concerns was the relocation of the entrance to Rockview closer to Ashton Manor, which it is felt will greatly increase traffic congestion, and the clustering together of social housing in Rockview.
Concerning the proposed new entrance to Rockview, Liam Ryan Architectural Services, acting as agent for Ashton Manor resident Marie Conroy, said the proposed entrance is totally inadequate for a stretch of road which is part of the ring road in Portlaoise.
In the wake of the council’s approval, an appeal to An Bord Pleanala was made by Ms Conway, and the Rockview Residents.
An inspector with An Bord Pleanala recommended that permission be refused in April of this year, but in October An Bord decided not to accept the inspector’s recommendation as the concerns raised had been addressed.
The board has now ruled that the proposed development would not injure the residential or visual amenities of the area, would not be prejudicial to public health and would be acceptable in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety and would therefore be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area.
The developer shall pay to the council a financial contribution in respect of public infrastructure and facilities and the work is to be carried out on a phased basis.
Public open space areas are to be developed and completed in full and public lighting shall be provided.
A construction management plan and waste management plan are to be included in the process.