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02 Oct 2022

No creche spaces available in growing Laois town

No creche spaces available in growing Laois town

Stradbally has capacity to welcome Ireland's biggest music festival Electric Picnic with 70,000 revellers and world reknowned artists, but there is no space for more babies.

There are no more spaces in creches in the growing Laois town but Laois County Council said evidence must be provided before a community creche can be planned.

Resident Cllr Paschal McEvoy is from the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District and he raised the space shortage at the April full council meeting.

He wants the council to add a creche to the new site for 26 council houses which are in planning stage.

"I had a motion for a creche for Carraig Glas, it is absolutely necessary. Childcare providers in the town have no spaces. They are confined by numbers. This new estate is on seven acres, there needs to be a creche," he said.

Angela McEvoy is the Director of Services for Housing, and a senior planner.

"In the planning process it is normally one creche per 75 units, that's the general guidance. In a town like Stradbally, you have to have the justification and be careful not to displace other businesses. Obviously if it was a community run creche it would be dependent on community funding and be evidence based," she said.

Cllr McEvoy told her that the town is to get 31 turnkey houses, 36 social houses and 43 private houses. 

"There is no creche planned anywhere. I am getting this from the creche in Stradbally. They would take it off the council, it's just the building they want.

"There are no real solid plans for a community centre yet. I am asking that you have a look. With more houses coming to Stradbally there is a definite need for a creche," he said.

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