The planned extension to Foxburrow estate in Portlaoise.
The first government fast-tracked housing development in Laois has been approved, despite many local objections.
Local developer Boderg Developments has received the green light from An Bord Pleanála for the construction of 154 homes at Foxburrow, Portlaoise under the Strategic Housing Development scheme.
It will be the completion of the unfinished housing estate.
The plan for a future vehicular entrance via Grenville housing estate has been rejected by ABP "in the interests of proper planning and development". One home is also to be omitted to make it 154 units.
The entrance is through Chantiere Gate. Residents of both Grenville and Chantiere had lodged objections to the development.
Among their concerns were the extra traffic, the potential of anti-social behaviour via new walkways proposed, pressure on the sewerage system and the high number of houses. Foxburrow was only partly finished in 2008 with 24 houses built.
All seven Portlaoise county councillors were also opposed to the plan because the planning decision was taken out of Laois County Council's hands.
Approved under fast-track planning, the 154 units will be made up of houses and apartments and several one-bed maisonettes.
The houses comprise of a mix of two-storey terraced, semi-detached and detached dwellings with two-, three- and four-bed units available. The apartments comprise of a mix of one- and two-bed units that will be arranged in 3 three-storey blocks.
The development was planned have 289 car parking spaces; cycle parking; a pedestrian link towards the north-west corner of the site through to the neighbouring Grenville estate and the facilitation of a vehicular link through to Grenville (rejected); hard and soft landscaping; balconies and terraces; boundary treatments; solar panels; the relocation of an existing ESB substation and the provision of a new substation; bin stores and all associated site development works above and below ground.
The Strategic Housing Developments scheme was set up by the Department of Housing as part of Rebuilding Ireland to speed up delivery of large scale housing and student accommodation.
One other such development in Laois was applied for but later withdrawn, a 262 unit extension to Rathevan estate, Portlaoise. The only leave of appeal under the scheme is by judicial review in court.
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