Government body must create plan for idle Portlaoise land demands Laois TD

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Government body must create plan for idle Portlaoise land demands Laois TD

Department of Agriculture office in Portlaoise is the one of several buildings used for the decentralised department.

A plan is needed for a big tract of idle State-owned land in Portlaoise, according to Sean Fleming TD.

The Laois Fianna Fáil representative said he has raised the issue of the lands owned by the State on the Mountrath Road in the Dáil.

He said a detailed plan must be finalised by the Office of Public Work for the use of this key site which can be used for employment in Portlaoise town.

Deputy Fleming raised the use of these lands as part of the public consultation process by Laois County Council in drawing up a new Area Plan of Portlaoise last year.

“At the time the OPW said they were considering the use of these lands for office accommodation, warehousing for State file storage and a Vehicle Testing Centre.

“Zoning was changed from Industrial to Enterprise & Employment to facilitate the OPW. Laois County Council has done its bit but now it is essential that the OPW complete their work and finalise their plans in relation to the usage of these lands. I raised this matter recently with the Minister and he has confirmed that no decision has yet been made regarding the specific uses for these lands in Portlaoise. This is the same answer I received last July. The time has come for the OPW to step up to the plate and finalise the plans for this site so that investment in the area can proceed,” he said.

The OPW was due to relocate decentralised Department of Agriculture staff to new buildings on the lalnd in Portlaoise. Staff are working at several differant sites in the town some of which are rented.