Portlaoise train station
Some cash has been secured for a major development in Portlaoise to solve a chronic shortage of parking for commuters at the town's train station and to provide new homes but the plans are ‘still up in the air’ according to senior council staff.
The council has cash under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund according to its Director of Services Michael Rainey.
Mr Rainey told councillors at the Portlaoise Municipal District meeting last week that contracts have yet to be signed.
“It is impossible to do a timeframe because we haven't reached the contract stage. Once we sign contracts we will be able to come back with a timeline but at the minute we don't have signed contracts and until they are signed it is still a bit up in the air,” he said.
The project would see land beside the train station which was once part of the CBS school playing pitches be developed for the train station car park and houses.
The five-acre site is to include 1.2 acres for a train station car park.
A further two acres of the site are planned to build 80 small homes, possibly apartments, of one to two bedrooms that would be suitable for single people or small families.
A shortage of spaces has been an issue for Portlaoise train commuters for the past decade, with some forced to drive to Portarlington and Newbridge to find train station parking.
Cllr John Joe Fennelly said it would be ‘of benefit to everybody’ if the car park went in before the houses. He said it is ‘coming up on the doorsteps’ ahead of the local election.
Mr Rainey said this is a ‘possibility’ but it would be ‘premature’ to give any more detail on a timeline of the work.