Malahide school gets green light

DEVELOPMENT AT ST OLIVER PLUNKETTS

FERGAL MADDOCK

Published 23/10/2012 | 15:08

An artist's impression of the development at St Oliver Plunketts NS.

THE GREEN light has been granted for the construction of a longawaited new school in Malahide, which has had to accommodate its pupils in old and inadequate building. Planning permission has been granted by Fingal County Council for the development at St Oliver Plunkett's NS which involve the demolition of the existing splitlevel, single-storey, 16-classroom school building as well as the twostorey and eight-classroom school building and all of the prefabs on the site to clear the way for a brand new building./P>

The project, designed by Swords- based architects WCA, will see the construction of a part two- storey, part three- storey school building with 35 mainstream classrooms, new parking facilities, hard and soft play areas and a new electrical substation. The existing single-story -- Boyd Barrett -- building to the front of the site is to remain and may be used to house special needs classrooms and facilities. Parents said the need to move from the old and inadequate and often temporary accommodation of the old school to a new modern building is undeniable while near neighbours of the site object to the height of the proposed building and the development's possible impact on local traffic

The existing school caters for approx 900 pupils and 66 staff members and many of the buildings are in a poor state of repair, according to the planning application. 'It is considered that the current facilities and standards are not suitable for a modern learning environment as classroom and other support areas do not comply with Department of Education and Skills (DoES) minimum sizes or specifications.' Residents, particularly in Grove Avenue had raised concerns about the development, principally because of the height of the new school building which will be three-storeys high in parts. Grove Action Group objected to the proposed new school building and said that the -- need for such a large school at this location cannot be supported on strategic planning grounds's and questioned the wisdom of a large school in the area, citing falling population figures close to the school.<

The action group backed up the objections of individual neighbours of the school site to the height of the proposed building and its impact on residential amenity. The group warned of exacerbating ' traffic chaos' in the area which it stated was a daily occurrence on Grove Avenue and surrounding routes. The group also objected to the location of the play areas at the proposed new school, which it says would 'maximise the level of noise' affecting neighbouring properties'.

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