935 residential units for De La Salle lands

By Maurice Garvey

PLANS for over 900 residential units on the grounds of the former De La Salle National School were presented to local residents and representatives at a meeting in the school this week.

The school and surrounding GAA playing pitches were sold last year by the De La Salle brothers to Dwyer Nolan Developments Ltd.

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An artist’s impression of the plans

De La Salle NS, the first school to open in Ballyfermot in 1952, closed its doors last June.

The Echo understands Dwyer Nolan Developments plan to build 935 units, a mix of private and 10 per cent social housing and apartments, including provision for two commercial units and a crèche.

Two of the existing three De La Salle school buildings will be retained, and a new school could be built on the grounds, if funded by the Department of Education.

Last September, Dublin City Council recommended the central school block be added to the list of Protected Structures, following pressure by local councillors.

Independent councillor Vincent Jackson said the development on “40 acres of land” has the potential to increase the population of Ballyfermot “by a third” and this will present challenges.

“The demand will be huge,” he said.

“But there will be pressure on schools. There is provision for a new 16-classroom school if there is funding from the Dept, and that is the irony of the whole thing.

“They are ready to go with planning permission and hope to be on site next year. As Chair of the Ballyfermot Training Centre, I hope they will grant opportunities to young people to do apprenticeships on the site, and that there is provision for community gain.

“They were talking of two blocks for social housing, but I don’t want a ‘them and us’ scenario – it should be mixed. One landmark building is 13 storeys, that could lead to objections from residents.”

Cllr Hazel De Nortúin also stressed the need for additional school places, which are set to increase pressure on families in Ballyfermot in the coming years.

“It is like a small village coming into the area, and it is also dependent on economic factors,” she said.

“The Minister [for Education Joe McHugh] said they would deliver four new schools by the end of the year. We’ve put pressure in for a Gaelscoil, which the area doesn’t have, but ETB is interested also.

“The plans are very comprehensive but need to be seen by more people, which will happen once they go on public display. They are keeping the trees in front of the monastery, a pitch for the schools, and green space in front of apartments, trying to make it an easy-flow system.”

The Echo contacted Dwyer Nolan Developments, but nobody was available to talk at this time.

 A spokesperson for local residents group Friends Around the Park (Markievicz) said the meeting on Friday, was “an opportunity to meet the developer and see the plans.”

“It was great to see the potential for a new school to be built and that they will be exploring options for the local communities,” he said.

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