Council stall Abbeyleix plan

LAOIS County Council planners want more informaiton from the developers of a retail complex on Main St, Abbeyleix.

LAOIS County Council planners want more informaiton from the developers of a retail complex on Main St, Abbeyleix.

Peter and Shelley Stokes applied for planning permission on August 24 last for the proposed development on a 0.22 hectare site which includes two buildings on the record of protected structures (RPS) - MacEvoys Pub and Bonhams. The gross floor space of the proposed works is 215 square metres and provision is made for 28 car park spaces, roadway, footpaths and landscaping.

A decision on the application was due earlier this month, however, on October 16 planners sought more information.

Since the proposed development involves extensions onto existing protected structures and within the Abbeyleix Architectural Conservation Area (ACA), planners have requested the submission of an architectural conservation report.

They also highlight road issues. In regard to parking bays and internal road width, they urge the applicants to provide at least 6m of road space to allow for easy access to and egress from each proposed vehicle parking bay.

Planners also express concern over the vision of drivers exiting from the development.

“Vision would be impeded by vehicles in the parking bays next to the yellow box that corresponds to the site exit. The applicants (Peter & Shelley Stokes) shall propose measures to ensure that Laois County Council’s Road Standard for sight distance in a 50kph speed limit zone (50m) would be achievable at all times. If those measures include loss of public car parking spaces the applicants shall propose measures to compensate for that loss.”

Planners, finally, have requested the applicants to submit a construction and demolition management plan including removal of top soil from the site if permitted to the Planning Authority putting measures in place to minimise the risk of injury to predestrians either from blockage of the footpaths or motorists from the movement of associated traffic at the site.

If the request for further information is not responded to within a period of six months, the planning application shall be declared to be withdrawn.

Peter and Shelley Stokes also applied to the planning athority on August 24 last for retention of a temporary gate, temporary hard-standing area and access to landholding at Temperance Street, Abbeyleix and this application was deemed incomplete. A submission expressing concerns over this retention application was received by County Hall on September 26.

Meanwhile, back in December 2009, Mr Stokes lodged planning permission for the development of a €15 million medical care facility at Knockamoe, Abbeyleix that would have created between 100 and 150 jobs.

Permission was granted (with 22 conditions) on December 13, 2010. The issue went on to become a drawn out saga as there was an appeal by third parties to An Bord Pleanala and this was ultimately unsuccessful (October 27, 2011). The medical facilty planning decision is October 26, 2016.