Department considering next steps after planning refusal for Cork Educate Together school upheld

The Department of Education is considering its next steps in regards to a permanent building for Cork Educate Together Secondary School after the decision to refuse planning was upheld.

Department considering next steps after planning refusal for Cork Educate Together school upheld

The Department of Education is considering its next steps in regards to a permanent building for Cork Educate Together Secondary School after the decision to refuse planning was upheld.

As previously reported by the Irish Examiner, An Bord Pleanála (ABP) upheld a decision by Cork County Council to refuse planning on the proposed development in Douglas, mainly due to traffic concerns.

The planning authority agreed that the submitted plans for the 600-student development on a greenfield site in Maryborough would “give rise to traffic hazard”, and could obstruct road users and endanger pedestrians.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Skills confirmed the inspector’s report is currently being reviewed by the department after receiving it last week.

“Following this review a decision on the next steps will be made,” he said.

Educate Together has been working with the department to secure a permanent state-owned building for the school even before it opened in 2017, according to a spokesman for the patron body.

“This school is a department project that is being provided to meet the increase in demand for school places,” he added.

“Educate Together is disappointed that the planning process for such an important and urgently needed school has proven to be so difficult.

We are working with the Department and the Cork Educate Together Secondary School community on the issue and look forward to its speedy resolution.

Planning permission for the planned school build for the secondary school, which is currently based on Wellington Road, was initially lodged in August 2018.

Further information was then requested by Cork County Council in May 2019, following which planning was refused.

The Department of Education then appealed this decision to An Bord Pleanála in June 2019.

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 expressed concerns about the road network in the area being unable to cater for the extra traffic likely to be generated.

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