Written answers

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Schools Building Projects

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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84. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the timeline for applying for planning permission for schools (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23822/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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I wish to assure the Deputy that the Department is fully committed to advancing these projects in the shortest timeframe possible.

The permanent building project for Blackrock Educate Together Secondary school is being delivered under my Department's Design and Build programme which uses a professional external Project Manager to progress the project through the relevant stages of architectural planning, tender and construction.

The project when complete will provide a new 1,000 pupil post-primary school building including 4 classrooms for children with Special Educational Needs on the site at Blackrock to serve the Booterstown, Blackrock and Dún Laoghaire school planning areas as a regional solution.

An application for Planning Permission for the school was submitted to the Local Authority in June 2021. Information in response to a Request for Further Information received in July 2021 was submitted to the local authority by my Department’s Project Manager on 9th March 2022. A Clarification of Further Information (CFI) was subsequently received on 8th April 2022, with the response submitted to the local authority on 5th May 2022. A decision on the planning application from the local authority is currently awaited.

In relation to Gaelscoil Laighean, agreement in principle had been reached with the Executive of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, subject to the approval of the Elected Members of the Council, for the sale of land to my Department at Mount Anville Depot for the development of new permanent school facilities for Gaelscoil Laighean. I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the Elected Members just recently approved the disposal of this land to my Department on the 11th April 2022.

The site acquisition process has now moved to the conveyancing stage. Heads of terms have been agreed with the local authority. The next step is for the local authority's solicitor to issue draft contracts to the CSSO, who will be acting on behalf of the Department.

My Department will shortly be commencing the tender process for the appointment of the Project Manager for the delivery programme which includes Gaelscoil Laighean. Once the Project Manager is appointed they will commence the tender process for the appointment of the design team that will take the project forward through the stages of architectural planning to tender and construction. It is not possible at this time, ahead of the appointment of the design team and subsequent preplanning consultations with the local authority to indicate when the planning application for the project will be submitted. However, the school will be kept fully informed as these steps are progressed.

My Department will continue to address the interim accommodation requirements for both schools and will continue to keep the patron bodies and the school community updated as their projects progress.

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