Public views sought on strategy for regenerating Portarlington's heart

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Public views sought on strategy for regenerating Portarlington's heart

The people Portarlington are being urged to contribute their opinions towards a plan which is envisaged as a template to regenerate the heart of the Laois Offaly border community.

Downey Planning & Architecture have been commissioned to prepare a Regeneration Strategy for Portarlington on behalf of Laois County Council.

The firm outlined what is involved in the project which focuses on the central area.

“The aim of the Portarlington Regeneration Strategy is to create a vision for Portarlington, including the use of the Market House and Square, public realm improvements, and other proposals. This will also identify key urban spaces designated for enhancement and connection to capitalise on the rich heritage of Portarlington.

“Pedestrian priority linkages and proposals to better link the historic core with adjacent amenities (People's Park, River Barrow, Leisure Centre and play areas) and facilities such as Derryounce Lake and Trails, Lea Castle, Emo Court, schools and Train Station and the Community Development building will also be considered,” say the consultants.

The project is focused on the town centre realm and does not extend into the Offaly side.

However, links between the two counties will be examined.

“Improved connectivity with points of interest in both local authority areas will be welcomed,” they say.

A multi-disciplinary team has been formed to complete this strategy, including architects from Wilson Architecture, engineers and environmental consultants from Tobin Consulting Engineers, conservation architects from Mesh Architects and planners, urban designers and landscape architects from Downey Planning & Architecture.

Downey Planning and Architecture say they are a multi-disciplinary practice of chartered town planners, registered architects, landscape architects and project managers.

As part of the pre-draft stage Laois County Council are inviting people to make submissions or observations.

They say they want to engage with the wider community to understand the issues and potential areas for improvement which are evident to the public. The council and the consultantcy team say they welcome feedback from all individuals, businesses and community groups, through the following options:

By email to portregen@laoiscoco.ie

Complete our survey about your Town via the Laois County Council Consultation Portal. https://www.surveymonkey.com

/r/GM2RXN5

Via phone: email your contact details should you wish to be contacted by Downey Planning on behalf of Laois County Council

Submissions in writing can be addressed to the Senior Planner, Planning Department, Laois County Council, Aras an Chontae, James Fintan Lalor Avenue, Portlaoise, Co.Laois. Re32EHP9.

Submissions or observations must be made no later than 5pm on Friday, November 20 and submissions will be published on Laois County Council website.

Plans were published earlier this year to overhaul the town park in Portarlington. This will involve a new playground and wildflower areas. Work was also carried out last year on the Barrow Bridge in the town. This is the second initiative launched by Laois County Council to regenerate town centres. Work is ongoing in Portlaoise the overhaul of the town which has seen millions of euro spent on various parts of the town.

This resulted from a public realm process completed two years ago.