A new 60-bed nursing home is being planned for Graiguecullen.
It is expected the facility at Ballykillen will create up to 20 jobs and will cater for elderly people, including patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The home will be constructed on a 1.8 hectare (4.4. acre) site off the Castlecomer Road near the livestock mart and just 2km from Carlow town centre.
At the latest meeting of Laois County Council (LCC), cllrs voted unanimously for a material contravention of the Laois County Development Plan 2017-2023 and the Graiguecullen Local Area Plan 2012-2018.
As the land is currently zoned for enterprise and employment , a contravention was required to allow the nursing home plans to go ahead.
The way is now clear for planning permission to be granted.
A planning application for the large two-storey nursing home, which will extend to 3,267sq m, was initially lodged last January by Nursing Home Developments Ltd, which also runs another nursing home in Carlow.
James Dunne is the landowner, and has a number of business interests in the area.
Access to the nursing home will be provided on the existing road service road off the Killeshin Road.
LCC chief executive John Mulholland recommended material contravention of the plans, particularly due to the expected creation of 15 to 20 jobs and the growing local demand for nursing home facilities, given an increasing number of elderly people in the area.
Mr Mulholland pointed out that, according to the latest Central Statistics Office Data, there are 9,033 people aged 65 and over in Laois and an increase in older age groups is forecast to continue.
The material contravention was proposed by cllr Pádraig Fleming who said the nursing home plan was excellent news for people on the Graiguecullen side of Laois.
Cllr John Moran seconded the proposal and said a nursing home would be a great asset to the area.
Cllr Moran commented: “The more nursing homes we can have the better, as it helps to move people out of hospitals and into good nursing homes.”
Cllr Tom Mulhall also supported the development, as anything that improved care for the elderly was a “good step” and it was great to see Graiguecullen getting such a facility.
Director of services Kieran Kehoe reassured cllr James Kelly that there is still plenty of land in the area designated for enterprise and employment.