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Plans for an extension to Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg have been appealed to An Bord Pleanala

Ennis school’s proposed extension appelaed to An Bord Pleanala

PLANS for an extension to an Ennis primary school, to include the first Early Intervention Unit at a mainstream primary school in the town, have been put on hold as an appeal has been lodged with An Bord Pleanala.

The appeal to the two-storey extension of Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg has been submitted by a Glenina resident who had previously lodged an objection to the plans with Clare County Council on behalf of a number of residents living in the Gort Road estate.

The An Bord Pleanala appeal argues “traffic problems and anti-social behaviour are problems that already exist” in the area and the proposed development will add to this.

“Trucks and diggers and building traffic will be in and out of the estate for a period of 18 months. This is a residential area were people work from home and work shift work and are entitled to live in a peaceful atmosphere,” the appeal states.

The original objection documentation to the local authority has been included with the appeal.

The objection to the council outlined, “At present we have an element of anti-social behaviour in that youths hang out at the school. The proposed new structure will only make this problem worse as it provides more space at the back of the school in which they can hang out and cannot be seen from the road.

“Cars gather and play loud music and race each other in front of the school late in the evening and in the early hours of the morning.”

Other objections by the residents included overlooking and blocking of light, noise levels and concerns over parking and traffic.

The appeal to An Bord Pleanala questions the decision of Clare County Council to give the development the green light stating, “we feel that none of our objections were addressed.” It added,

“At no stage did Clare County Council planning department consult or visit any of the residents to discuss our objections. There has been no engagement between the school board of management and the residents affected.”

Planning permission was granted last month by Clare County Council for the development of six classrooms, a general purpose hall, two SEN classrooms and two ball courts as well as additional carparking and other associated works at the Gort Road school.

The planning authority granted planning permission to the Board of Management of Gaelscoil Mhíchíl Cíosóg subject to seven conditions, including that a planned parking area at Glenina pitch be dedicated to Clare County Council once finished. A proposal for a bus turning area along the side of Glenina pitch was not been permitted by the local authority.

The planned extended school, if given the go-ahead by the board, will not create any additional students or trips with no planned increase in students or staff. The existing school has 471 students and 31 staff.

“The purpose of the new classroom and associated facilities is to improve the facilities available to the present school’s teachers and students. Presently there are some sub-standard sized rooms within the existing school facility, some of which are not fit for purpose,” a mobility and management report lodged with the planning application outlined.

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