The provision of new houses in Mountmellick is to proceed after a standard archaeological survey is conducted. The Council plan to build 10 new homes at Pattison Estate in the town.
The houses will be two-storey 3-bedroom houses constructed in two terraced blocks of five units each, adjacent to the existing Pattison estate.
There will also be an access road and other ancillary works such as footpaths public lighting and public and private open space provided.
The open space is to be by way of 11 metre depth back gardens with gated access onto a rear laneway and a public open space area of about 750 square metres.
The Council received four submissions concerning the development, including one late submission from the Inland Fisheries Ireland just before Christmas.
On foot of a submission from the Department of Culture and Heritage the Council have engaged Colm Flynn Archaeology of Mountmellick to conduct an Archaeological Impact Assessment and a Metal Detector Survey so as to comply with the requirements of the National Monuments Survey and the Department of Heritage.
The Council also noted and responded to concerns expressed by a local resident, Mr Tom Gorry who said that the sewer network in the area is not up to standard and has been giving problems for the past 38 years, of which Laois County Council is aware.
Mr Gorry also contends that the development site is on a flood plain.
With respect to the sewer network in the area a pre-connection enquiry was submitted to Irish Water, who subsequently issued a Confirmation of Feasibility letter concerning water and wastewater connections to the proposed development.
However, Irish Water did advise in this notice that a gravity connection to the existing sewer may not be possible.
Consequently, the design team engineers liaised with Irish Water to identify a suitable solution and this engagement is ongoing.
There are a number of recommendations being incorporated so as to mitigate any flood risk and the Council concludes that the residual flood risk is low.
Inland Fisheries in their submission sought to ensure that the Council prevent the discharge of cements materials, residues or concrete truck wash into sewers.
They want cement or lime stored in dry areas and oil-fuel to be stored in bunded areas and for servicing and refuelling to be undertaken in impermeable hardstand areas with diesel/petrol pumps on site to be located with portable bunds.
The IFI also request that the proposed boundary fence between the river and the development be reconsidered, and attach a guidance document ‘Planning for Watercourses in Urban Environment.’ Concerns about a suitable biosecurity protocol to prevent the spread of invasive species were also noted by the IFI.
In their response the Council have committed to incorporate the Inland Fisheries proposals into their approach as they represent good practice, including the boundary treatment, with a view to providing a design that addresses the aesthetic and amenity considerations along with safety issues.
In conclusion the local authority state that the development provides for the delivery of much needed housing for the Mountmellick areas which has experienced major population growth over the last two decades.