Yesterday we learned that planning permission had been lodged by Supermacs owner Pat McDonagh for the construction of a new service station – and now the owner expects 200 jobs to be created if the project is approved.
Speaking on Midlands 103 today, Mr McDonagh says he wants create 100 construction positions and a similar number of permanent posts in the process.
He said: “I would expect that it would be in the region of 100 and then obviously in the course of construction, up to another hundred.
“It is a big potential job growth area as well.
“And in relation to Portlaoise, it is a good hub for the rest of the country.
“And that’s what I would say that Portlaoise has a very good future in relation to jobs, location and what it can do.”
This development will be similar to the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, just off the motorway at Togher outside Portlaoise.
Mr McDonagh, who also owns the hotel group behind the Killeshin Hotel in Portlaoise, has lodged plans with Laois County Council for the development of a two-storey service area with shops, a food court and petrol pumps at Junction 17 at the M7 at Togher.
The development will include a retail unit, a food court and drive-thru, communal seating area, office, toilet and kitchen facilities, adjacent to Junction 17.
The development will also include six filling pumps abd improvement works to the existing road network at Togher.
Mr McDonagh purchased the 109-acre NAMA controlled site for a price in the region of €3.25 million.
Laois County Council have been approved to purchase 76 acres back from Mr McDonagh as they seek to develop the site in a bid to attract jobs and investment to the county.
If the development gets the go ahead it will mean the drivers on the M7 will now have a range of stop-off options in the vicinity including Junction 14 at Monasterervin, the Gandon Inn at Junction 15, the Midway and Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall and the Manor Stone Topaz – also owned by Mr McDonagh – in Ballacolla.
Planning permission was recently refused for petrol pumps at the Midway Food Court.
The project is expected to cost in the region of €10 million.