Ballinteer primary school building delayed until 2018

Children taught in prefabs for years as planning permission repeatedly refused

Ballinteer Educate Together National School opened on the understanding the substantial site would be used to build a new primary school and sports hall. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Ballinteer Educate Together National School opened on the understanding the substantial site would be used to build a new primary school and sports hall. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

 

Four years after opening in temporary accommodation, a south Dublin primary school appears to be no closer to taking up residence in a permanent, suitable building.

Ballinteer Educate Together National School opened in 2012 in rooms in St Tiernan’s Community School in Balally.

The school opened on the understanding the substantial site would be used to build a new primary school and sports hall. However, four years later, there is no planning permission for the new school building due to access issues with the site.

The Department of Education has now postponed the date of building the school until 2018, despite the school already having 185 pupils.

Chairperson of Ballinteer Educate Together NS Amanda Bailey said children and teachers at the school had been in prefabs for six years.

“How long are we going to have to wait for the authorities to get their act together? This is unacceptable and is having an impact on the children and teachers in the school,” she said.

In December 2012, outline planning permission to provide a permanent school building for Ballinteer Educate Together National School was submitted to Dún Laoghaire County Council.

The planning permission was refused on the grounds the proposed means of access would endanger public safety by reason of traffic hazard or obstruction of road users.

The schools are accessed via a residential estate that would not be suitable for two full-size schools. The decision was appealed by the department to An Bord Pleanála but was withdrawn to facilitate submission to the local authority of an amended outline planning permission in 2013, which was also refused. This decision was appealed but refused.

Ms Bailey said there were more than 250 children on the waiting list for the school for September 2016, and 370 on the waiting list for 2017.

The department said it and the council were working in close co-operation to agree on an appropriate access route with a view to a further planning application being submitted “as soon as possible”.