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Demolition of two houses in Portlaoise set to pave the way for many more and a new road

Two houses on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise are currently being demolished with big plans in place for their replacements.

The two vacant and derelict houses at Beladd on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise were acquired by Laois County Council by Compulsory Purchase Order in March 2022.

These houses were built almost 20 years ago but have been idle pretty much ever since.

They were never occupied, had become a location for anti-social behaviour and had also been vandalised.

Over the years, various Laois County Councillors have called on the Council to take action here.

Fianna Fail’s Catherine Fitzgerald, Sinn Fein’s Caroline Dwane Stanley and the Fine Gael duo of Thomasina Connell and Willie Aird have regularly put down motions on this.

The issue came up again at the January meeting of Laois County Council where Director of Services Simon Walton confirmed that plans were in place.

While he couldn’t confirm the number of houses that will be built in its place, he said that space for a road to connect the Stradbally and Dublin Roads together would be left.

He was pressed on the issue by Fine Gael Councillor Willie Aird who made the case for a link road to cater for the new Dunamase College building.

Cllr Aird said: “There is a plan for the new Coláiste Dunamase and it will be the biggest school ever built in Laois, with 1,000 pupils and over 350 teachers.

“That will put huge pressure on this road. In order for it to work in any shape or form, include this in your drawings or we’ll be coming back to you.

“Irrespective of which design you do, we have a crystal guarantee that you will leave the design for the road.”

Mr Walton said: “There is no doubt that the road linking Stradbally and Dublin roads is required for the future sustainable development of Portlaoise, for schools, housing and general expansion of the town and given congestion on the Block Road.

“The new road is in the Local Area Plan as two arrows, we have been refining that and engaging with Kolbe School to specifically identify the road line and to identify the surplus land for housing developments at the point where the sites are.”

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