Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Planning row sees toilets being used as classrooms

CHILDREN attending a Limerick city school will have to continue using converted toilets as classrooms due to a planning row.

A €4 million redevelopment of the JFK primary school faces uncertainty due to objections lodged by local residents.

The Department of Education gave the green light for extensive works at the school, on the Ennis Road, last December.

But residents have appealed the planning approval given by Limerick City Council to An Bord Pleanála. School management fear they will forfeit the money if the planning process is unduly delayed.

A spokesman for the school said: “The new school building is urgently needed as we have language and learning support classes in renovated toilets and six prefabs on site.

“The toilets are also located outside the classrooms and outside the supervision of teachers,” he said.

The three objections have been lodged by residents in adjacent houses on North Circular Road. One objector claims the structure would have the appearance of a factory. There is also an objection to the resiting of the playground to the boundary of the site.

Consultant engineers John T Garrett & Associates, which has been engaged by some of the objectors, says the proposed school development would permanently damage the residential amenity of their client’s property in a way that contravenes the Limerick City Council Development Plan of 2004.

The residents say they are not opposed to the school, but want it done in a way that respects their homes. They also object to the scale of the proposed development.

Parents and teachers have been pushing for a new JFK school since 1971.

An Bord Pleanála is due to make a ruling by May 27.

Irish Examiner

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