05 Jul 2022

Tidy Towns objection to new Laois homes ruled out by An Bord Pleanála


Bulding is more than two centuries old to be converted to apartments with houses to be built nearby

Planning permission for a housing project earmarked for the historic heart of Portarlington is set to proceed after appeal to An Bord Pleanála was deemed to have been made too late.

Portarlington Tidy Towns has appealed Laois County Council goahead for the development planned by Ormonde Homes Market Square Ltd at a building and adjoining site located off Market Square and French Church Street, Portarlington.

The project involves the building of 15 house for older people and the renovation and change of use of the existing three-storey building to Market Square. The former Kelly's hotel listed building hotel is earmarked for three apartments.

A vehicle a pedestrian entrance is planned off Market Square, with pedestrian access also from French Church Street. A total of 27 parking spaces were planned including 12 public spaces.

The Tidy Towns had objected to the project on a number of grounds after planning permission was lodged in July 2020.

They said the development around the building would seriously detract from the listed building which they said should be restored to its former glory. They also said it should be refused until a traffic assessment on Market Square should be carried out. They said the plan would only lead to more traffic on the square. They also maintained that French Church Street is already unsafe.

They said there was no guarantee the housing would be reserved for senior citizens.

Laois County Council gave the go-ahead on April 22 this year.

When the local authority makes a decision, any participant in the application can appeal that decision to An Bord Pleanála. This appeal must be made within 4 weeks of the date of this decision. 

The appeals board reached its decision on May 31.

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