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‘I’ve never seen a debacle like this before’ says local councillor following delays on Laois housing estate

Mr Trevor Hennessy, Assistant Senior Engineer this week provided the Portlaoise Municipal District with an update on the state off affairs at the Clonrooske Abbey estate in the town.

Sinn Féin Cllr Caroline Dwane Stanley had called for the update, specifically on when the remaining social houses would be tenanted.

“It is expected that the six units in Phase 2 shall be ready by the end of March 2024, with tenanting commencing thereafter,” Mr Hennessy said.

“It is anticipated that a further 12 units in Phase 3 shall be completed by the end of quarter-two 2024.”

Cllr Dwane Stanley called the situation in the estate a “debacle.”

“This project is nearly three years since these houses were meant to come in and yet we’re still waiting on Phase 2 and Phase 3.

“I’ve never seen a debacle like this before, where we’ve waited so long for a development to come in, and I hope lessons will be learned.

“We’ve had so many false dawns – we’ve had all kinds of problems around utilities, water, ESB, expiring of codes – we’ve had to go back to the drawing board again and again.”

Cllr Dwane Stanley also called for the County Council to take in charge of the Broomville Close estate in the town.

Mr David O’Hara, Senior Planner confirmed that the Council is amenable to the suggestion.

However, the issue is not cut and dry, and it was confirmed that the situation would be reconvened once more clarification could be collated and concerns addressed regarding proposals around adjoining lands.

Cllr Dwane Stanley finished by calling for the speed radar sign at the Rock National School to be activated.

Mr James Dowling, Senior Executive Engineer said Laois County Council Road Design Department have assessed the speed radar sign and it is gone beyond economical repair.

As such, Mr Dowling said the Department have arranged for the replacement of the speed radar sign.

SEE ALSO – New online tracker ‘gives unique insight into progress of Laois’s €18.2 million Urban Regional Development Fund projects’