PLANS to extend a national school in the town have received the go-ahead by Ennis Town Council with the school being asked to pay €25,0000 in a special development contribution.
Gaelscoil Mhichíl Cíosóg, Glenina, Gort Road, have been granted planning permission to provide an extension to the school containing four classrooms and a boiler house extension. Permission was also granted for other alterations.
The development is to be sited to the east of the existing school building and is the first phase of a planned larger development that will see the school extend to 16 classrooms.
There are currently 278 pupils enrolled in the school and it is proposed this will increase from 304 in September 2012 to 484 in September 2018. During the planning process, it was outlined that the school has been oversubscribed “for over six years”.
The planning authority received a submission from the Glenina Residents’ Association as part of the planning process. The submission noted they had no objection in principle to the proposed development, however, they had concerns relating to traffic management. Further information was requested by the planning authority regarding the proposals in terms of traffic management at the site.
In response the school outlined that walk-to-school initiatives will continue and car-pooling is encouraged. It was pointed out pedestrian access is via footpaths and there is no conflict between vehicular and pedestrian activity. Cycling initiatives are also being looked at and the provision of cycle lanes. A walking bus is also being investigated.
Car-pooling is being advocated to reduce the number of private cars on the site. It is also proposed to issue a traffic management plan at the start of the school year that they will sign up with the school.
According to the response, a development contribution is unnecessary because the school currently exceeds the parking requirements according to the development plan standards.
The area engineer report noted there will be a need for parking for junior and senior infants and first class while children are being dropped into school.
In the local authority’s planners report, it was noted that there is “limited scope” on the site for expansion for parking or drop off areas. It was noted the council have proposals for the development of a pedestrian crossing and parking area across the road from the site.
“This parking area would be able to serve the school and the pitch. The total cost of these works are stated to be €50,000. It is considered reasonable therefore to apply a special development contribution to help facilitate these works,” the planner stated, recommending the application be given the go-ahead subject to conditions.
In making its decision, the planning authority stated the proposed development, subject to conditions, “would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and will be in accordance with the proper planning an sustainable development of the area”.
The development was granted permission subject to six conditions. These include that the amount of €25,000 is to be paid by the developer in a special contribution to Ennis Town Council towards the cost of the provision of car parking and pedestrian facilities.