Secondary school plans upheld with a number of ABP conditions
The site for the secondary school in Oldcourt

Secondary school plans upheld with a number of ABP conditions

AN BORD Pleanála (ABP) has upheld South Dublin County Council’s decision to grant permission for the contentious development of a temporary secondary school at the Old Court Road and Ballycullen Green – with a number of new conditions.

The appeals board reached this decision on February 14, in response to an appeal that had been lodged by the Ballycullen Green Residents’ Association the previous October.

In their appeal, the residents’ association stated that the development would result in a “traffic hazard”, cause issues with traffic congestion, and would cause “serious injury to residential amenity”.

They requested that, if ABP decided to uphold the council’s decision, a condition should require “the omission of the two pedestrian entrances in the Ballycullen Green public open space and alternative pedestrian access be provided from the adjoining playing pitch”.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Emma Murphy previously told The Echo that Ballycullen Green residents were concerned about pedestrian access to the school being provided through the estate, and the impact the development could have on traffic in the locality.

In their decision to uphold the grant of permission for the development last month, ABP added a number of conditions.

These conditions include the submission of details of a footpath and cycle path connection between the school entrance on the Old Court Road and at the junction of Old Court Road and Hunters Road.

A Mobility Management Strategy outlining incentives to encourage the use of public transport, cycling, walking and carpooling by the school’s staff and students is also required before the development can go ahead.

As previously reported in The Echo, the temporary two-storey structure is to house the Firhouse Educate Together Secondary School.

Since opening in 2018, the secondary school – which has no permanent accommodation – had been housed across two primary schools in the area: Firhouse Educate Together and Gaelscoil na Giuise.

This academic year, the school has been located in temporary accommodation in the grounds of Firhouse Community College.

In May 2020, the Department of Education announced the acquisition of a 4.45-acre site for the school on the Old Court Road, where the school is to be permanently located.

However, ahead of the permanent school building project for Firhouse ETSS, which is being delivered under the Department’s Design and Build Programme, permission was sought for temporary accommodation at the Old Court Road site.

The Minister for Education lodged the planning application for the temporary structure, comprising 10 classrooms and three specialist classrooms including all ancillary teacher and pupil facilities, last May.

Also included in the plans is the provision of an internal vehicular drop-off area and internal circulation routes, 15 surface-parking spaces, bicycle parking, ball courts and play areas.

The plans for the temporary structure received the green light from South Dublin County Council on July 20 last, before being appealed by the Ballycullen Green Residents’ Association.

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