Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Education and Skills
189. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason he is not ensuring that lands zoned Z15 in the Dublin City Development Plan providing for institutional and community use are not specifically retained for future educational uses such as school buildings in view of the expected population growth particularly in the context of a planning application (details supplied) in the Killester, Raheny, Clontarf and school planning area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2684/20]
The zoning of land is a matter for the relevant planning authorities and while my Department is a prescribed body with whom planning authorities are statutorily obliged to consult in respect of the making or variation of Development Plans, there is no requirement for consultation in respect of individual planning applications. Rather, planning authorities are to have regard to relevant planning guidance including the 2008 Code of Practice “The Provision of Schools and the Planning System” and Planning Guidelines “Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas” which provide for an assessment of existing schools’ capacity or the provision of new school facilities in tandem with the development. It is important to note that the recent adoption of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Eastern and Midland Region is going to inform the review of County Development Plans and Local Area Plans. The RSES identifies a future settlement hierarchy to be reflected in the Plans and will require extensive engagement between the Planning authorities and the Department officials to ensure proper planning provision for schools and other education facilities.
Engagement between my officials and officials in the relevant Planning Authority in the context of its review of the Development Plan is underway and through this my Department aims to secure necessary provision to protect current and future educational requirements in the Planning Authority area.
With respect to the planning application to which the Deputy refers, my Department made an observation on this application to the Planning Authority regarding current educational requirements in the area.