Motorway Services Online

Retrieved from "https://motorwayservices.ie"

Portlaoise Plaza

Location:

M7 at exit 17
(also accessible to traffic on the N77 and the R922)

Not signposted from the road.

Access/Layout:

Offline (
Single site located at a junction
)

Rating: See the reviews



A brand new Supermac's Plaza has opened opposite Midway Food Court. This means it's right in the middle of the M7 and the second plaza to open on this motorway, after the original.

Facilities

Catering: Mac's Place, Papa John's Pizza, Supermac's, SuperSubs, Bewley's Barista, Moo Parlour, Coca-Cola Freestyle Shops: Spar Main Amenities: Local Information Hotel: none Charging Points: ESB high power chargers Forecourt: Texaco

Parking Prices

Further information is not available, please update this if you know.

Contact Details

🏢 Address:
Togher
Curriers Bog
Co. Laois
Eircode:

  • 📞 Telephone number: 057 867 8858
  • 🗺 Grid reference: S 46529 96162


Trivia and History

Portlaoise eateries.jpg
The building is very similar to the existing plazas.

Camera icon

Services opened. 2020

Being in the middle of the M7 between Dublin and Limerick, exit 17 has proven to be a popular place for development. This started with the Midway Food Court, which never officially qualified as a motorway service area, because it wasn't open 24 hours and initially it didn't sell fuel. The Portlaoise Plaza is not currently treated as one either; it's not entirely clear why, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland didn't give us an answer when we enquired. It may just be that it takes time.

Planning

In 2009, a landowner close to the junction was trying to gather interest from a developer wishing to build a motorway service area. In 2017 Supermac's confirmed they were in talks to build a Portlaoise Plaza here, similar to the popular one down the road. They purchased a 109-acre plot of land for €3.25 million, but later sold 76 acres to the council.

A planning application was formally lodged in March 2018 for a two-storey building with a food court, a drive thru and a forecourt. Several objections were raised by local businesses, arguing that the roundabout can't handle it, that the building design is poor and that it merely replicates the existing food court. Planning permission was granted, and a subsequent appeal from Applegreen claiming that two service stations on one roundabout would be confusing was overthrown.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland were also thought to have concerns, but they did not formally appeal. One especially interesting remark from them was: "The Council are requested to address the proliferation of such service areas at national road junctions in the County". TII have a vested interest in their own service areas, of which there are currently none on the M7.

An Bord Pleanála argued that the Portlaoise Plaza would be larger than the Midway Food Court, and have better road access, while Applegreen argued that Midway Food Court may need to be scaled down if it loses any trade.

The Portlaoise Plaza represents a €10m investment from Supermac's, creating 120 jobs. There is parking for 144 cars, 20 HGVs and 10 coaches. Work started on its construction in early 2020, with a scheduled opening of May 2020, but this was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Opening

It opened on 31 July 2020. The publicity surrounding the opening was inevitably dominated by talk about COVID-19, with Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh saying he was "optimistic" about the new plaza despite "the mother and father of all situations". He also talked about the possibility of modifying the building to support hot desking, after praising Portlaoise town for its potential to become a "meeting place".

The run-up to the opening was also marred by fake internet rumours claiming the place was going to be called "Queen's County Plaza", which caused outrage across the country. Further difficulties were encountered the following week, when Co. Laois was placed into a COVID-19 lockdown. Restaurants had to become takeaway only and anybody living outside Laois was told not to stop when travelling through the county.

Alternatives

Previous:Next:
Mayfield (27 km) Services on the M7 (Ireland) Moneygall (Barack Obama Plaza) (53 km)
Manor Stone (M8, 26 km)
none nearby Plaza Group services Moneygall (Barack Obama Plaza) (53 km)

Visitor Feedback

Our comments section was refreshed in 2019. Until new comments arrive, you may want to check the archive.


Views expressed in these comments are those of the individual contributor. User accounts are managed by Facebook.
We would like the companies named to check here regularly but we can't force them to do so.