New apartments to be first phase of landmark site development near Portlaoise Train Station

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly

portlaoise anglo irish bank

The Maltings, Portlaoise.

Planning permission is to be lodged to build 40 apartments near Portlaoise Train Station in the first phase of a big redevelopment of lands attached to a landmark Portlaoise building which were once the subject of an €84.5 Anglo Irish Bank loan.

The Maltings and Granary Ltd intend to apply to Laois County Council to develop land at Harpur's Lane which is part of the Minch Norton Maltings site.

The developers want to build a single detached three-storey apartment block containing 40 two bedroom units.

The company's planning notice says the apartments will provide accommodation for independent and assisted living for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Permission is also sought for a so-called 'spine road' which will serve the development and future development of the wider landholding.

Access to the site will be off Harpur's Lane which runs onto the Mountmellick road.

The way was cleared for the extensive development of the landmark site when it was rezoned in the Portlaoise Local Area Plan.

It was rezoned by Laois County Council from residential to mixed use in order to open up the opportunities for the owners to develop on the site.

Brothers, Pat and Sean Flanagan, directors of Owenass Developments Ireland Limited, who built Esker Hills and Bellingham estates in Portlaoise, now own the Maltings site which is located to the rear of the existing red brick buildings located opposite the train station.

In their 2018 submission made on the Draft Local Area Plan, Mr Pat Flanagan said plans may be in the pipeline to develop housing and offices at the landmark site.

Mr Flanagan confirmed to the Leinster Express in 2017 that he was a director of Maltings and Granary Ltd and a masterplan was being drawn up.

The brothers previously tried to build a residential development on part of the site.

A previous builder had planned a nine-story development in 2006, but the plans fell through due to the economic crash. 

An asking price of €25 million was put on the site in 2008 as a forced sale. Maryborough Construction Holdings Ltd had already drawn down €23.5 million of a €84.5 million loan advanced by Anglo Irish Bank to purchase and develop the site.

A shopping centre was planned for the site during the boom.