Irate over commuter parking situation in Millbrook Estate in Portlaoise

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Irate over commuter parking situation in Millbrook Estate in Portlaoise

Millbrook Portlaoise is located near the town's busy train station

Abuse from people who work in Dubin but park all day is one of the many problems residents of a Portlaoise estate face because Laois County Council cannot take responsibility for roads, lighting and other issues nearly two decades after it was completed.

Cllr Caroline Dwane was irate with the council’s stance and response at the Portlaoise Municipal District meeting when she asked for a progress update on the taking in charge of Millbrook Estate off the Ridge Road.

Angela McEvoy, senior planner responded in writing to Cllr Dwane Stanley’s motion. The reply pointed to difficulties with drains and water which would involve Irish Water as to what needed to be done before the council could take it over.

“CCTV Survey was completed which highlighted a number of issues which need to be remediated i.e. sliting up of surface water systems, foul sewer requiring two manholes, one at the end of each line. These traverse a very narrow space (alleyway at back of houses) and will be very difficult to remedy. Benching is also required for manholes. A site resolution plan with Irish water will have to be prepared,” she said.

Cllr Dwane Stanley was not happy because she had raised the issue over a number of years and had been given the same answer previously.

“To say the least I am disappointed with the response,” she said. “This estate has to be one of the longest that has had to be taken in charge. That estate has been built over 20 years. There has been huge problems and the biggest problem has been parking on both sides of the footpaths.

“Residents are absolutely at their wits end. People in wheelchairs have to get onto the road because they cant get onto the footpaths. People are parking up and going to Dublin for the day. Some of residents come out and ask them to move are getting abuse,” she said.

Cllr Dwane Stanley said there is a problem with sewerage, lights, footpaths.

“It just seems to be going nowhere,” she said.

She asked for Director of Service Simon Walton to draw up a plan to act. She said the Woodgrove estate face similar issues but had been taken over.

Cllr Willie Aird endorsed the evidence of illegal parking and questioned whether there is a desire to act.

“I question is the will there to do it. I can’t understand how it has been left there for so long.

“We spent a huge amount of money on Fitzmaurice Place and I asked could we tie the two into one because it is going to have to be done.”

Cllr Aird said some of the residents were senior citizens and moved to Portlaoise because of the facilities.

He claimed the council has to step in and finish the estate because no other source of revenue exists.

Cllr Aird said councillors should meet with management and planners before the next meeting.

Simon Walton, Director of Services, said he was new to the role and said he would be briefed before councillors meet again in January.