Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Divisive gaelscoil project hit with fresh planning difficulty

PLANS for a new gaelscoil which have split a community on Cork’s northside have been hit with another planning difficulty.

City manager Joe Gavin told councillors last night that the amount of land at the Tank Field earmarked for the construction of a new Gaelscoil an Gort Alainn building has to be reduced.

If the project proceeded as planned, it would have meant that Brian Dillon GAA club pitches due to be built on the rest of the Tank Field would have had goalposts located under high tension electricity wires.

Mr Gavin said following lengthy discussions, the only solution was to reduce from 2.44 acres to two acres, the amount of land available for the school.

The Department of Education has advised that the smaller site is adequate for the school, he said.

And the department has been advised that the reduction in land would not be a material change and the current planning permission can be acted upon. The department has asked the council to confirm this position.

Mr Gavin told councillors that the only issue before him now is to determine whether or not the reduction in land for the school requires another planning application, or whether it can proceed as planned.

Fine Gael councillor Jim Corr urged Mr Gavin to get the best possible advice on the matter.

Mr Gavin also agreed to a request from Fianna Fáil’s Tim Brosnan to meet residents both supporting and opposing the gaelscoil project.

The gaelscoil project has been one of the most divisive planning issues in the city for years.

Councillors decided as far back as 2005 to sell at an agreed price, and subject to planning, a 2.3 acre portion of the 11-acre Tank Field site to the Department of Education, which had sought planning permission for a new building for the gaelscoil.

But a massive local campaign was mounted to block the project. Opponents wanted to fight the loss of the local amenity which was zoned for sports use.

Councillors voted 15-13 in late 2007 to rezone a portion of the site to allow the school project proceed but because a two-thirds majority was needed, the rezoning did not go ahead.

However, in April 2008, an Bord Pleanála granted planning permission for the school.

The department wants to build a 16-classroom school for the gaelscoil which has been accommodated in prefabs since it opened 16 years ago.

Mr Gavin is expected to make his decision on the issue within three weeks.

Irish Examiner



soaring_high said...

I really cant understand why these ppl are so against our children getting a new school...the area zoned for the new school is not part of the playing field but is in fact a fouling ground for dogs...of the ppl opposed to the school i doubt that they use the grounds for little else only allowing their pets to foul the grounds...as for Brian Dillons they have a playing field in whites X where they hold their games not on the pitches....the school on the other had do make use of these pitches...also if the so called ppl saving this field were so interested why didn't they show up in their numbers to a recent fund raising event held there...a great day and not one resident who wanted to save the pitch turned up to support the cause or the day...so it goes to show they love their field so much they dont even bother to take advantage of the day and support the cause and try to prove to ppl why they want to save the field...in my honest opinion the only thing they want to save is parking spaces as we all know they've moaned enough about the traffic at the school...

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