05/08/2021

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Stunning Laois house falling to ruin forcibly bought by council

Stunning Laois house falling to ruin forcibly bought by council

Millbrook House in Abbeyleix, a listed house falling to ruin

A historic and romantic Laois house that is falling into ruin is about to come up for sale so someone with deep pockets can restore it to its former glory.

Millbrook House in Abbeyleix has been forcibly bought up by Laois County Council in efforts to sell it on to save it.

Is a huge red brick Victorian pile on the outskirts of the town on the De Vesci estate, and listed in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

The council announced that they now own the house at the May council meeting.

They intend to find a buyer who will restore it to its once former grandeur.

"It will be very good value for money," the CEO John Mulholland promised.

"Our main objective is to get the building resinstaed and weatherproofed. All we have to do is recoup our costs. We will be setting our price when we engage an agent. We won't waste any time," he said.

It is now open to the council to offer the premises for sale by public tender, subject to conditions including price and timeframe for completion of essential weatherproofing and restoration works.

It ends a protracted effort going back to 2019 by the council to get the owner to do necessary work to stop the house from falling into complete ruin. The 1885 built house has not been lived in for many years.

It measures a whopping 9,000 square foot and is on 4.2 acres, on the Ballacolla road.

Cllr John Joe Fennelly from Abbeyleix welcomed the force purchase.

"I compliment the manager on moving this forward, and putting in the conditions to have it made safe, like a new roof to keep away the elements. I look forward to somebody buying and restoring it. It is an absolutely beautiful house, it's gone beyond the normal person to repair it," he said. 

Laois County Council had secured a Compulsory Purchase Order on it through An Bord Pleanála in May 2020. A vesting order followed last May 5 which enables the council to take ownership.

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