Could it be Third Time Lucky for Carrigtwohill School Campus?

By Seamus Whelehan

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Cork County Council is believed to be in direct talks with the Department of Education after plans for a three school campus in Carrigtwohill were rejected for a second time.   Failure by the Department to employ a Planning Consultant has been blamed for a series of planning errors.

In April the plan for two Primary Schools and a Secondary School on a 10.087 hectare site in the East Cork village was rejected by planners because of a “litany of mistakes.”  The initial Planning Application did not contain the correct details on parking spaces when compared to the building’s square footage, nor did it reflect the number of pupils and staff anticipated for the site.

A second application lodged with the Authority last month has also been refused because it did not contain an Environmental Impact Statement.   Under Planning Regulations, a site over 10 hectares in an urban setting requires an Environmental Impact Study to accompany a Planning Application.

Carrigtwohill based Cllr Anthony Barry, who suspended statutory business at the Council’s 24 April Sitting to discuss the initial rejection, has said problem solving now needs to be put ahead of the blame game.   The site was to encompass two Primary Schools and a Secondary School with up to 1,000 pupils.

One National School was to have 24 classrooms with the second allocated 16 teaching rooms. The Fine Gael Cllr said the Department of Education needs to work closely with the County Planners to urgently address the errors, ensuring no further time is wasted.  He said “there has been a litany of incompetence and mistakes made in the process so far. The blame game can start but it is not going to get this one iota faster.”

“If you focused on one building at a time rather than looking at the entire campus, it would come in under the 10 hectares.”

“There is a general consensus that the Post Primary School is the critical piece of infrastructure which needs to be completed. The other schools are not as critical as Carrigtwohill Community College.”

Cllr Barry added “what we need now is the Department to focus on this, and on getting the Application in as quickly as possible.”

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