25 May 2022

An Bord Pleánala delay 'totally unacceptable' for Laois town - rails Sinn Féin TD

Mountrath people in fear of repeat floods

Laois fire service attend floods in 2019

Laois Sinn Féin TD calls on planning board to make a decision so that flood relief work can be carried out in Mountrath that could bring to an end regular flooding in the town. 

In doing so, Dep Stanley described what he claimed was a delay of flood relief works in Mountrath as “totally unacceptable" as we face into another winter. He laid responsibility at the door of An Bord Pleanála.

“As a native of the town, I have witnessed flooding there in every decade in the area of Shannon Street and Patrick Street. While the Council have carried out works on the Whitehorse River at various times over the years to alleviate it, important work is now been delayed by An Bord Pleanála," he said.

The TD said Laois County Council submitted an application to the board in February for consent to install an overflow pipe on the stream at Shannon St along with all the necessary documentation. He said environmental assessments have been completed by the Council and the necessary funding has been secured.

Dep Stanley said that the appeals board states that the average time for making decisions on such applications is 18 weeks.

"No decision has yet been made. This is disappointing facing into another winter and in the context of increasing frequency of heavy rainfall in a short space of time due to climate change.

"The proposed work is to simply install an overflow pipe from a back garden to the Whitehorse River. It has been judged by engineers that this is the best option and will supplement other works done over the years.’’

“Funding is also available for other works at Patrick Street which includes the diversion of a wastewater drainage and sewer pipe from under the bridge. If both contracts were completed, it should greatly reduce the risk of serious flooding in the town," he said.

The Sinn Féin chairperson of the Dáil Public accounts committee said he has written to the Chairperson of An Bord Pleanála Dave Walsh in an effort to get them to move on this and grant consent to the Council.

The TD said he told him in the letter that the prolonged delay was 'unacceptable'.


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