05 Jul 2022

Laois council will need more cash for Portarlington's Market Sq overhaul

laois offaly laois

Portarlington's Market House in for big overhaul

More money will be needed for the two phase regeneration of Portarlington’s square.

Work on the overhaul of Portarlington’s town square will likely be carried out in two phases and further funding is likely to be needed to complete the project, according to a senior council official.

Laois County Council’s Director of Services, Gerry Murphy gave an update to councillors for the town at a recent meeting.

More than €1 million was approved recently for the overhaul of the Market House and public area around it. The regeneration of the building and public area around the square is also recommended in a new strategy for the town commissioned by Laois County Council.

“We are examining our options in relation to how the building itself will be progressed,” said Mr Murphy.

The council’s Director of Finance continued, “It would probably end up in two different elements. One is the actual building and its refurbishment and then the public realm outside. We have some funding but it won't do the whole square,” said Mr Murphy.

He also told the Portarlington Graiguecullen meeting that councillors would have to approve plans for public area works via so-called Part VIII which is the equivalent of planning permission.

He anticipated that the new strategy for the town would also need to be factored into the new Laois County Development Plan and the overall town plan for Portarlington which is agreed by Laois and Offaly councils.

Mr Murphy gave the update after a motion was tabled by Cllr PJ Kelly at the recent Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.

He called for the Council to provide additional planters and outdoor seating for Portarlington Town Centre.

In reply, Mr Philip McVeigh, Senior Executive Engineer, said the Council is procuring additional planters and outdoor seating for the town centre area.

He said these works are being funded under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. He said funding has also been sought for outdoor seating under the Additional Outdoor Infrastructure Fund.

Cllr Kelly said all the extras will be of great benefit to the town where footpaths are being upgraded and the Market square is in for an overhaul.

Cllr Aidan Mullins cautioned that work should not be carried out on a piecemeal basis as the plan recently drafted contains comprehensive proposals for how the Market Square should look as part of its redevelopment.

“Hopefully, it would be the intention of the council to incorporate any benches and planters within our overall plan rather than have a piecemeal approach,” he said.

Consultation on the regeneration plan closed in May.

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