Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
I thank the Senator for raising this matter and allowing me to provide the House with an update on the current position regarding the provision of a permanent school building for Harold's Cross Educate Together Secondary School. Harold's Cross ETSS is a co-educational second level school which will provide 1,000 post-primary school places and a four-classroom special educational needs unit to serve the two school planning areas of Dublin 6-Clonskeagh and Dublin 6W.
As the Senator has outlined, the school opened its doors to its first intake of pupils in September 2020. Students have been accommodated in interim accommodation on the site of the former greyhound racing stadium at Harold's Cross. This will be the permanent location of the school. The site will also form the campus for Harold's Cross Educate Together National School, which is also currently in interim accommodation on the site.
The joint building project for both schools is undergoing advanced architectural planning. An initial design for the campus was previously presented to Dublin City Council in a pre-planning meeting in August 2019. Various changes to the design were subsequently required and a further pre-planning meeting with Dublin City Council is now being sought. Provided Dublin City Council is receptive to the revised design, it is intended that the planning application will be lodged by the middle of the first quarter of 2021. A previous planning permission for interim accommodation on the site was appealed to An Bord Pleanála, as the Senator will be aware. There is a strong possibility that once secured, planning permission for the permanent build could also be appealed to An Bord Pleanála. However, once planning permission is secured, the project for both schools will be progressed to tender and construction stages. Until planning permission is secured, it would be premature to estimate the timeframe for tender and construction of the two schools. However, the management authorities of the two schools will be kept fully informed as the process progresses.