The new ‘Barack Obama-style’ plaza planned for Portlaoise is still awaiting the decision of An Bord Pleanala over whether or not it can proceed.
LaoisToday understands that one objection has been lodged with the appeals body after planning permission was initially granted by Laois County Council last year.
A source in Supermac’s says that there is no due date yet on when a decision will be made as An Bord Pleanala are currently prioritizing adjudicating on housing matters at present.
The source said: “Right now, we are not sure when a decision will be made as An Bord Pleanala are dealing with housing appeals as a priority at present giving the on-going housing crisis.
“This is frustrating from our point of view because it means that our project is on hold as a result.”
Back in October, Laois County Council granted planning permission to Supermac’s owner Pat McDonagh for the construction of a new service station, 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, lodged plans back in March 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 and improvement works to the existing road network at Togher.
If the plaza is built, 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, the Manor Stone Topaz and the Barack Obama Plaza in Moneygall, the latter which is also owned by Mr McDonagh.
Yesterday, we revealed that the path was now clear for the Glanbia Cheese Factory to proceed after an objection to An Bord Pleanala was withdrawn.