SOME small dent may be made in the homeless figures for the midlands over the coming months after an application to build 62 houses in Portarlington was formally granted this week.
The proposed €10m development will partially complete the unfinished Castlelea/Landsdowne estates between the Portlaoise and Ballymorris roads.
The application has been submitted by Kingscroft Developments, a Meath-based subsidiary of Abbey, one of the nation’s largest house building firms and wholly owned by the Gallagher family.
The plan is to build six three-bed semi-detached units, 13 three-bed detached, 28 four-bed semis and 15 four-bed detached houses with 124 car parking spaces (two for each unit).
Primary access will be via the existing internal road network, with entry off the two existing roundabouts on the distributor road between the Portlaoise Road and the Ballymorris Road.
Because of the density of housing, a traffic impact study formed part of the application, as did a flood risk assessment.
Kingscroft originally built the Castlelea and Landsdowne estates in 2004 and 2005, but they stopped the development at 250 units on the death of the Tiger and planning permission for the remainder was allowed to lapse.
The site is 2.65 hectares (6.5 acres) and has been designed to slot in seamlessly with the 15-year-old originals by utilising the same house types.
Three extensions on the original permission were granted in the interim, until it was finally allowed to lapse in 2012.
This development is not before time, as it is estimated the population of Portarlington will grow by almost 800 people in the next four years.
This is a continued reflection on the town’s proximity to the motorway and Dublin – the two main reasons its population has tripled since the 1980s to almost 9,000 people.