Development opportunities broadened at landmark Portlaoise site

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Opportunities for development at landmark Portlaoise site

Opportunities for development at landmark Portlaoise site

Almost five hectares of land at the old Centrepoint Shopping Centre site on the Mountrath Road in Portlaoise has been rezoned to allow for a more diverse range of development possibilities.

Following a written submission to the Draft Portlaoise Local Area Plan 2018 - 2024 by Kyle Estates & Dexterbrook Ltd., the directors of which are members of the Shaw family, the Centrepoint land was rezoned at a meeting by the Chief Executive of Laois County Council John Mulholland.

Kyle Estates & Dexterbrook Ltd requested for the site to be rezoned from Residential to Residential and Neighbourhood Centre which is a zoning for new or existing residential areas permitting a mix of retail, community and recreational development.

“The Neighbourhood Centre could allow for a range of uses including convenience store/deli, petrol filling station, local offices, cafe/restaurant, beauticians & hairdressers, pharmacy, residential typologies including housing for the elderly with apartments for sale or rent,” was written in the submission by Shaws.

Chief Executive John Mulholland said that based on the central location of the site and proximity to the train station the Residential 2 zoning was too restrictive and decided a new zoning “Mixed Use” would be appropriate.

The mixed use zoning will allow a range of possibilities including residential, community buildings, civic buildings, entertainment, hotels, leisure and recreation, offices, professional / specialist services or restaurants.

"The use of land as Mixed Use shall be taken to include the use of land for a mix of uses, making provisions, where appropriate for “primary” uses i.e. residential and combined with other uses e.g. offices as “secondary”. These secondary uses will be considered by the Local Authority, having regard to the particular character of the area. A diversity of uses for both day and evening is encouraged. These areas require high levels of accessibility, including pedestrian, cyclists and public transport (where feasible)," Mr Mulholland said in a written report.

This site has been noted as a prime location for redevelopment, it is not located within any Architectural Conservation Area and has no Protected Structures within the site and has an extensive surface car park. It has been vacant for a number of years. 

Centrepoint shopping centre on the Mountrath Road was occupied by Shaws and five other retail tenants in the past. The shopping complex has 4,800sq m (51,667sq ft) of space over two floors.