Derryounce Lake on a sunny evening
A boardwalk that would help link the heart of Portarlington with Derryounce Lakes along the River Barrow should be a central part of the regeneration plan for the town.
That’s the view of councillors who represent the town on Laois County Council. However, while officials said it is in a new blueprint for the Laois Offaly town there could be some complications in advancing the project.
Cllr Aidan Mullins, Sinn Féin, raised the issue at a recent meeting with council officials.
He asked that the boardwalk consider the project as part of an overall Part VIII plan for various works outlined in the Portarlington Regeneration Strategy 2030.
“The local development association believes that this is a critical part of the infrastructure linking the town with the Derryounce and amenity and walkway,” he said.
Where a project is being progressed by the Local Authority, planning permission is applied for under Part VIII of the Planning and Development Regulations.
Cllr Mullins asked if the Council apply under Part VIII for permission to construct a boardwalk at Spa Street Bridge.
Mr. Gerry Murphy, Head of Finance and Director of Services, responded.
“It is part of the regeneration strategy. We have some preliminary discussions,” he said.
He pointed to some complications. He said an ecological analysis would be needed given that it would be built along the river. He added that Offaly County Council may also be involved.
Mr Murphy said the boardwalk is just one element of the regeneration plan which also focuses on the overhaul of Market Square.
Cllr Paschal McEvoy supported the project saying it should be prioritised.
“If at all possible it should be one of the first things done,” he said.
The completed regeneration plan for the town is set to be published shortly but work has already advanced on overhauling the Market Square.
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