An Bord Pleanála (ABP) has upheld the decision to refuse planning for a permanent building for Cork Educate Together Secondary School, mainly due to concerns about traffic.
The proposed 600-student development in Douglas would “give rise to traffic hazard”, and could obstruct road users and endanger pedestrians, the national planning authority agreed.
"Having regard to the internal road layout of the proposed development, the Board considered that it would give rise to serious pedestrian and vehicular conflict," ABP said in its decision.
Plans for a permanent school building for Cork Educate Together Secondary School, which is currently based on Wellington Road, were originally refused by Cork County Council in May. This decision was subsequently appealed by the Minister for Education.
The original application had sought to build a three-storey development to accommodate the non-denominational mixed secondary school at the site on the Carrigaline Road, Ardarrig in Douglas.
The project was also set to include a PE hall, support teaching spaces as well as 150 cycle storage spaces, 67 parking spaces as well as four disabled car parking spaces, and ball courts.
In its decision, ABP said it considered the proposed development’s proximity to the adjoining Carrigaline Road and the R855,as well as to a proposed draft Bus Connects corridor.
It also considered the planning application’s “reliance” on documents regarding infrastructure to be provided in the future, including pedestrian, cycle and road links “beyond the scope of the application and beyond the capability of the applicant to deliver.”
The board also said it was not satisfied that the proposed development would not “endanger public safety” as the site is located near a heavily trafficked road.
It also expressed concerns about the road network in the area being unable to cater for the extra traffic likely to be generated. It also ruled that the proposed development could endanger pedestrians and cyclists, give rise to on road parking, and exacerbate traffic congestion.
"The proposed development would, therefore, be contrary to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area," the board said.
ABP also considered the location of the site within a larger zoned area designated as active open space. Based on the information it received, it was not satisfied that the "development of a school can be accommodated" as there was a lack of clarity around the future access, responsibility and maintenance of this space.