A PLANNING application seeking permission for the development of a new 600-pupil secondary school in Douglas has been lodged with Cork City Council.
The application, currently at pre-validation stage, has been submitted by the Department of Education for the proposed school to be developed at lands located at Carrigaline Rd, Ardarrig, Douglas.
A description of the development states that the new three-storey school would include a two-classroom Special Educational Needs Unit, a PE / multi-purpose hall, and general-purpose hall in addition to ancillary teacher and pupil facilities.
A new vehicular, cycle, and pedestrian access to the site is proposed to the west of the school, via Carrigaline Rd.
Cycle and pedestrian access to the site is also proposed to the north of the school, via the Carrigaline Rd, with standalone pedestrian access also proposed to the west of the school via the Carrigaline Rd.
In addition, new pedestrian and cycle access is to be provided, with occasional fire tender and delivery access at The Dales, Maryborough Woods. Two set-down areas would also be provided at Maryborough Woods Rd, to the southeast of the site.
The development would also include bicycle and scooter parking, vehicle and bus drop off / setdown areas, hard and soft play areas including five ballcourts, EV parking facilities and other site works.
While documents for the proposed development have yet to be uploaded, it is understood the planning application could be the long-awaited application for a permanent school site for Cork Educate Together Secondary School (CETSS).
CETSS opened in 2016, but it has been in temporary accommodation ever since. A section of Griffith College on Wellington Rd is currently used to accommodate the school which is the first school of its kind outside the Greater Dublin area and is fully resourced by the Department of Education.
A planning application for the development of the new school was rejected in 2018, and calls have mounted since then for the Department to resubmit an application.
Sinn Féin spokesperson for education and Cork South-Central TD, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has raised the matter on several occasions.
“We have been pushing for some time to get the department to submit the planning application,” he said.
“It looks now that they have either done so or are on the verge of doing so. That’s positive.
“Obviously the planning process has to proceed and people can have their say in relation to that, but I hope at the end of this that we can get a design and an approval for planning permission that is suitable and finally gives Educate Together Secondary School a home of their own. ”