Minister Shane Ross, and Minister Josepha Madigan recently leafleted the area to announce the completion of the sale of the IGB to the Department of Education. Both letters mentioned that two schools will be located on the site. A primary Educate Together school, which is now being temporarily located in Sandyford, and also a 800 pupil secondary school (due to open next September). The patronage of the secondary school is yet to be announced. A voting process to determine the patronage will start soon.
Minister Ross’ letter also mentioned that the County Development Plan would need to be altered (i.e. the zoning of the site) to accommodate the new schools. “Educational purposes” are permitted in principle under the current (F) zoning for this site, so we surprised to see that in the letter. There is a restriction in place regarding F zoning – only 40% of the site can be built on (this includes surface car-parking). We asked Minister Ross for clarification, and this is the response:
“With regard to your query; as it stands the site is currently zoned F meaning development covering 40% of the site can take place. That should be enough to cater for one school, however if both schools are built on the IGB site, which is the intention, it will have to be redesignated and voted on by local councillors. It could be done by earmarking the site as School Development Initiative as part of the review of the County Development Plan which is taking place in the next 12-18 months.“
Cllr. Anne Colgan is also following this up at Council level with the Head of Planning. We will post a follow-up when we get it.