By CAROL BYRNE
CLARE County Council has given the green light for the development of a new secondary school building in Tulla, subject to 11 planning conditions.
The Board of Management of St Josephs Secondary School in Tulla applied for the planning permission, which will see the construction of a new two storey 650 pupil post primary school building in the East Clare village.
The development comprises of a building with 26 specialist classrooms, 10 general classrooms, a P.E Hall, general purpose hall, kitchenette and servery, offices, staff areas, two class base special needs unit, sanitary and ancillary accommodation.
The works also include the demolition of an existing derelict farm compound. Proposed site works were also to include the provision of 48 car parking spaces including accessible parking via new proposed vehicular in-out access from R462 public road including pedestrian access and drop-off and pick-up facilities. External works include covered bicycle racks, five ball courts, GAA playing pitch, SNU play area and external storage yard with service access road from L4078 public road and ancillary site engineering works.
It is not proposed to have the external play areas floodlit. Further site works include road improvement works to the R462 public road including a right hand turning lane, pedestrian crossings and new pedestrian footpath adjacent to L4078 public road.
The board of The Educena Foundation, property owner indicated on the planning file that it does not have specific plans for the existing school site after it is vacated in 2016. Educena stated it will evaluate market and local community interest for its alternative use in advance of the site becoming vacant, and plan to secure the site and existing buildings after it has been vacation until an alternative is found.
The Board of Management amended the proposed car parking provision to 80 spaces and it will now enable the bus drop offs to be carried out within the car park.
In a submission to the application An Taisce recommended an archaeological excavation of a burnt mount be carried out as it would be impacted by this development. This matter has been dealt with as part of the conditions of planning and the board is required to carry out a full archaeological excavation of two burnt spreads recorded on the development site.
Other conditions of planning included a requirement on the school to provide comprehensive details of the proposed public lighting system to serve the development prior to the commencement of development. These proposals should provide for increased lighting in the vicinity of proposed crossing points.
A further condition required the board to submit and agree the provision of bollards on the eastern side of the R462 to prevent on carriageway parking with Clare County Council prior to development. The council stipulates that these proposals should be fully implemented and operational before the school is made available for occupation.