Portlaoise Rugby Club on a new journey to 'top class' environmentally friendly sports complex

Portlaoise Rugby Club opens virtual consultation

Leinster Express Reporter


Leinster Express Reporter



U-16 Leinster Plate glory for Portlaoise Rugby Club

U-16 Leinster Plate glory for Portlaoise Rugby Club in 2019

Portlaoise Rugby Club has embarked on a journey which it hopes will help to achieve the vision of developing a 'top class' sports facility that is also environmentally sustainable.

Thanks to technology, the club has got around Covid-19 to open public consultation on what they believe is an exciting ‘Green Infrastructure Consultation Plan’ for the rugby grounds in Togher, Portlaoise.

The club says these proposals are the result of extensive research completed for the Rugby Club. They say the plan works as a template to guide the development of the local Laois community, the environment and the rugby club.    

Portlaoise Rugby Club received grant aid from Laois Partnership and subsequently engaged Green Pine Consulting in Laois in partnership with engineering company ‘RPS’ to complete this consultation plan with Brian Gaynor from Green Pine who was appointed project manager for the project. 

The club is inviting people to go online and see the plans virtually. The technology being used also allows people to give their views on the suggestions on the future. For example, people are invited to give their views on whether or not the Rugby clubhouse should be either upgraded and renovated or demolished and re-built.   

People are also welcome to give suggestions on other sports that could be played in the grounds at Togher – for example, basketball, hockey or tennis.   

Philip Bradley, President of Portlaoise Rugby Club said he was delighted with the launch of this consultation plan as the potential in Portlaoise Rugby Club was enormous. 

“The potential at Portlaoise Rugby Club has always been huge, but never more so than now with so much development around Laois and in particular around Togher including the new Portlaoise Plaza and the development of factories in and around Togher.  Our rugby club has grown from strength to strength and we pride ourselves in having one of the finest grounds in the country with five playing pitches. 

"But there is much more potential at our club so PRFC Development Committee invited proposals from suitably qualified professionals to undertake a Green Infrastructure Development Plan for Togher Sports Ground Portlaoise.  I sincerely thank Laois Leader for funding this project and also sincere thanks to our secretary Trevor Flanagan and club member Johnny Fingleton for bringing this project to this consultation stage.  We now invite all members of the public to view the plan and to give as much feedback as they wish,” he said. 

The club say the key objective of this project is to develop a practical green infrastructure development plan to guide the development the club.

The plan will be achieved by: 

·         Consulting with local users and stakeholders to identify needs and deficits – hence the launch of this consultation phase.   

·         Producing a comprehensive green infrastructure development plan to serve as a blueprint up to 2030. 

·         Focusing on actions that promote and improve the health and wellbeing of local community. 

·         Developing project proposals to conceptual layout stage 

·         Incorporating an inclusive ethos and low carbon/ green infrastructure measures where possible. 

·         Increasing biodiversity of the site. 

·         Improving integration of the site with the local community. 

Once feedback has been received from the questionnaires that are embedded in the consultation link, the next steps will be to develop a comprehensive green infrastructure development plan to serve as a blueprint up to 2030 and to identify pathways and funding opportunities to achieve the plan over the next 10 years.  

The consultation document can be viewed in full at the link shown https://consultationspace.com/PRFCDevelopmentPlan/

All stakeholders, including members of the rugby club and extended community in Laois and extended environs, are free to submit their views on this plan, when they click on this link. 

Green Pine Consultants (GPC) is a landscape architecture and ecological consultancy practice based in Portlaoise. Brian Gaynor from Green Pine Consultants in Laois will act as a project manager and will be responsible for all communication with the PRFC Development Committee for the purposes of administering the project. 

RPS will act as sub-consultants and support Green Pine in the areas of stakeholder engagement and consultation, high level outline design for the proposed green infrastructure measures and identification of design issues, the feasibility of options along with indicative timeframes, costings and plan of action for the proposals.