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20/10/2021

Demand for shoppers to park in Portlaoise residential square

Demand for shoppers to park in Portlaoise residential square

Jessop Court in Portlaoise

A private residential square in Portlaoise town centre should have some of its parking spaces available to shoppers, a Portlaoise councillor has said.

Jessop Court opens onto Hynds Square retail area off the Main Street in Portlaoise. It is a residential square of 15 homes and all the parking spaces are privately reserved for residents. 

However Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald says that most of the spaces are empty all day and she wants the council to provide some to shoppers as trading gets busier again in Portlaoise. 

"It is great for the town to see money coming in but parking spaces are gone. Three quarters are empty all day, every day. We really have to go back and see what spaces we can get. 

"It is essential we get some before Christmas," she said.

Parking problems are ongoing for the past 20 years since Jessop Court and Hynds Square were built. Residents had complained about shoppers parking in their private spaces or blocking them in, but shoppers had complained about getting parking fines and wanted some spaces for public use.

"There were no spaces allocated to houses. One resident looked for this and we did the whole lot," Cllr Fitzgerald said.

However Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley said several residents do not want their spaces given away.

"I received a petition from more than one resident. Some are in rented accommodation and others are owner occupiers. The don't want this changed. I am asking that residents and particularly the owner occupier are included. The residents do live there at the end of the day. If it means giving parking permits, so be it, so shoppers can't park in their space," Cllr Dwane Stanley said.

Laois County Council took Jessop Court in charge in January 2020 with an undertaking to review parking after that.

"Myself and the late Jerry Lodge at the time were lobbied very strongly by residents who couldn't get in or out. That's why it was taken in charge. This is now a residential area, it's like parking outside your house," she said.

Cllr Fitzgerald tabled a motion to the September meeting of Portlaoise Municipal district asking Laois County Council to look at parking in Jessop Square with a view to providing more parking spaces.

In response the roads department of the council has now agreed to review the parking.

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