THERE will be no new Tesco store in Portarlington, following the company’s decision to withdraw their appeal to An Bord Pleanala after Laois County Council refused their application for a development in the centre of the town.
Pharaway Properties Limited applied to the council to construct ten town centre shop units, along with a civic cente with an outdoor leisure and tourism zone, car parking, access from the New Relief Road via a roundabout junction and all associated site development works including landscaping, a riverside buffer zone and riverside walkway. The proposed location for the development was the New Relief Road, off Market Square at Cooltederry Townland, Portarlington.
There were a number of objections lodged with the council by several local residents and business people. Concerns were raised over the impact the development would have on the environmental character of the area, as the site is a known flood plain. Many people expressed their fears that the development could increase the chance of flooding on the River Barrow, which is also a special area of conservation. Further concerns were raised over the proximity of the new store to residential properties, as well as traffic and safety issues. It was also pointed out that An Bord Pleanala had previously refused permission for development on the site.
The council subsequently refused the development on May 17, citing the environmental factors listed and the unsuitability of such a store in a “sensitive location” like this. Car parking was also an issue.
The company then appealed the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanala on June 12, but this appeal was withdrawn by Pharaway Properties Limited on July 18.