Full steam ahead for new school buildings on Ballycullen Road

By Laura Lyne

FOLLOWING an appeal to An Bord Pleanála, which also saw a delay from the national planning authority on a final decision, the two permanent school buildings for Gaelscoil na Giuise and Firhouse Educate Together have been approved for a site on Ballycullen Road.

The decision to grant permission for the two schools was given by An Bord Pleanála on June 7, with a number of conditions attached to the grant.

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A planning application for the schools was originally granted permission by South Dublin County Council in December 2015, but was appealed to An Bord Pleanála in January.

Included within the conditions attached to the grant of permission is that the vehicular entrance to the site will be via the roundabout on Ballycullen Drive, and that the two pitches to the western end of the site will relocated/reorientated to accom-modate the entrance.

A new pedestrian/cycle entrance is to be provided at the eastern end of the site, and a raised pedestrian ramp is to be provided across the internal access road linking to the new pedestrian crossing on Ballycullen Drive.

The Concerned Firhouse Residents group, which submitted the appeal to An Bord Pleanála, shared their disappointment with the ruling.

A spokesperson for the Concerned Firhouse Residents group told The Echo: “We’re disappointed with the ruling. While we haven’t had the opportunity to study the reports in full detail yet, the parts we have seen are flawed and some parts are lies.

“For example, they told us we had provided no evidence to back up the lack of need for schools, yet the Department of Education never provided evidence of the need for schools.

“In relation to traffic, there was a 50 per cent underestimation that was not referenced, and there was a lie about the pitch for Firhouse Carmel being reinstated.”

Following the ruling, both Gaelscoil na Giuise and Firhouse Educate Together, which are currently located on a temporary pre-fabricated site, shared their delight at the ruling.

Collette Dunne, principal of Firhouse Educate Together, told The Echo: “We’re delighted with the decision, although we know it’s been hard on the local community.

“Our hope is that we’re in the new school building for September 2017, but we have no definite date yet.

“The school is growing considerably, we’re going to have a classroom this September in the Firhouse Community Centre, and we have two Junior Infants classes joining us.

“For us, it’s all positive. We really are very happy with the decision.”

Further information about the decision, including inspector’s reports, can be found at www.sdcc.ie or www.pleanála.ie

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