Seanad debates

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Adjournment Matters

Site Acquisitions.

7:00 pm

Photo of Maria CorriganMaria Corrigan (Fianna Fail)
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In recent years, the Leopardstown-Stepaside area has undergone extensive development and expansion. In the past five years, approximately 6,000 additional residential units have been given planning permission and commenced building. In most cases, they are occupied. Further residential units are planned.

The recent agreement of the Kilternan local area plan ensures further development, population expansion and educational need in the area. The Department has been helpful in meeting the area's primary educational needs in that there are six primary schools, two of which were completed recently, and the completion of another has been fast-tracked. The area is appreciative of these facts and, with the Department's agreement, sites for an additional three primary schools have been identified.

While the area is on track to have nine primary schools, it will not have a post-primary school. In 2000, the Stepaside area action plan identified a site for a post-primary school just outside the village and a reservation order was placed. In 2001, the Department's inspectors visited the site and confirmed the need for a post-primary school. Therefore, the reservation order was to remain in place. Six years on and we are still awaiting news of progress. Children from the area attend a range of secondary schools, almost none of which has direct bus routes to and from the area. This places a burden on people in terms of transport and has an adverse impact on the community's future development. I hope the Minister of State has good news regarding progress in terms of the site's acquisition and plans for the post-primary school.

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin North Central, Fianna Fail)
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I congratulate the Cathaoirleach on his election and Senator Corrigan on her appointment. I wish her a successful term in Seanad Éireann and I thank her for raising this matter, as it affords me the opportunity to outline to the Seanad the position of the Department of Education and Science regarding education provision in the Leopardstown-Stepaside area.

Officials from the school planning section of the Department met officials of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council regarding the education provision requirements in the context of the ongoing developments at Kilternan and Stepaside. The Department has acquired a number of sites for new primary schools and many of these projects are either in advanced architectural planning or about to commence construction.

In the course of examining the need for additional provision at post-primary level and having regard to the developments at Kilternan, Stepaside and Cherrywood, the Department has identified surplus capacity in existing post-primary schools in south Dublin, but it has requested the local authority to reserve two sites for post-primary schools in the Stepaside-Kilternan area. It will continue to monitor the demand for post-primary school places in the Stepaside area to ensure any extra demand is met in a timely manner.

Photo of Maria CorriganMaria Corrigan (Fianna Fail)
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I thank the Minister of State for his response. I am pleased that the need for two schools has been identified and that sites for them will be reserved. Does the Minister of State have details of the timeframe for commencement?

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin North Central, Fianna Fail)
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I do not, but I will contact the section in the Department and ask it to convey the information to the Senator.

Photo of Maria CorriganMaria Corrigan (Fianna Fail)
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I thank the Minister of State.

The Seanad adjourned at 7.50 p.m. until10.30 a.m. on Thursday, 11 October 2007.