THE long awaited upgrade for the Square in Durrow received the green light from Laois County Councillors, last week.
Memebers of the Durrow Development Forum waited in the public gallery to hear the councillors comments on the plan.
Speaking from the gallery, Evelyn Clancy, chairperson of the Durrow Development Forum (DDF) thanked Laois County Council for their work so far.
“It has been a pleasure to work with you,” she said.
She thanked the Councillors for their support and said the Forum were really excited about taking the plan to the next stage.
However, despite the council’s approval work on the project will not begin until all the funding has been secured. DDF have already raised their contribution.
The main work involved in the project relate to: paving, public lighting, formal parking, bus-shleter, bus parking, signage, footpaths, kerbing and drainage. A total of 35 traditional ornate lighting columns will be installed, and the number of parking spaces will be increased to 80.
Trees in a poor condition will be replaced and the remainder will be upgraded where necessary and properly protected while the work on the square is carried out.
According to the council, the visual impact of the scheme will be minimal.
John Joe Fennelly was the first councillors to congratulate everyone involved in the project. However, he expressed his concerns about cars reversing out onto the road from the parking spaces.
“I was disappointed that you have to reverse out onto the street. I was surprised the NRA and the Roads Department would allow that to occur.”
In response, Director Of Services, Anna Marie Delaney said the plan had been approved by both parties.
He also asked that the council’s outdoor staff, who will be carrying out the work co-operate with the people who live and work in the square.
Cllr Mary Sweeney, said the DDF had set the benchmark for other areas.
“This was years in the build up, and I welcome this proposal,” she said.
Cllr Brendan Phelan said some people have devoted their lives to this day, when the council would approve the plans for the upgrade of the square.
He said the path out to the GAA field had been money well spent.
While, Cllr Alan Hand asked that the integrity of the green be maintained throughout the work.
Cllr John Bonham reminded the meeting that while this plan had been three years in the making, it was still on at the beginning.
“I know that no matter what it takes, it won’t stop the people of Durrow. There is still difficult times ahead in getting funding, I know DDF has their contribution already raised.
“It has be to one of the best communities in Ireland,” he added.”