The Portlaoise Public Realm report and a virtual tour of Portlaoise have now been published, setting out an ambitious plan for future development.
A Vision for Portlaoise – A Strategy for a Better Town Centre was prepared by the consultants GVA et al.
The full details are now available on the website of Laois County Council.
At the final public consultation meeting the ambitious plans were outlined which is the final step in moving towards the production of the Portlaoise Town Centre Public Realm Strategy.
Portlaoise now boasts the most innovative 3D map of any town in Ireland, with the latest drone technology employed.
The meeting heard this 3D map has a lifespan and significance well beyond the public realm strategy.
Director of services Kieran Kehoe said it was a “forward-looking, dynamic town centre approach” which would aim to have a zero carbon town centre. The plans include a reduction of traffic, and the creation of a more walkable town.
Proposals would see the addition of between 300 and 500 trees and greater linkage between the old and new areas of the town.
The meeting heard that out of a population of over 23,000, just 600 people are living in the town centre.
A key part of the plan is the reduction of the gap which JFL Avenue creates, with a realignment, new surfacing to reduce traffic speed and increased pedestrian crossing and public spaces.
An underground car park at Lyster Square, to allow for greater public space above, also forms part of the plan.
A canopy is also proposed for this area.
A linear park is also proposed to make greater recreational use of the Triogue River.
A key part of the heritage aspect is the focus on the Fort Protector area in the town centre, and its particular historical significance.
Part 1 of the draft plan is available here
Part 2 of the draft plan can be read here
The people of Laois are being asked to have their say on the plan. Submissions can be made to email@example.com
Or by writing to Brian Maher at; GVA Planning, Seagrave House, 19-20 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2