Our Lady’s Grove land sale slammed by locals

by Darragh McKiernan
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THE SALE of land next to Our Lady’s Grove Primary School for an estimated €13 million has been met with a wave of complaints from parents, locals, and politicians.
The Sisters of Jesus and Mary announced that the sale had gone through just a day after more than 120 parents had held a public meeting objecting to it.
The religious order announced last week through a “worrying letter” that it was selling the 5.4 acre plot adjacent to the Goatstown Road because it was surplus to their requirements.
The buyer, house builders Durkan, is expected to accommodate between 70 and 80 houses and apartments on the site that was used by students as green space for sporting activities.
Objectors now say that the school is left with no green space and no room for future expansion.
The decision to sell the land has caused a stir, with parents left feeling “betrayed” while others took to social media to vent their anger.
One poster said: “I was born, raised and have returned to this community and over the past 20 years have watched it close in on itself through continued commercial development.”
TD and Green Party Deputy Leader Catherine Martin expressed her disappointment at the news, saying that it is “very disheartening for the community in Goatstown”.
She added: “This is a systemic problem which shows a lack of forward planning in the entire county. With the sale of land at Our Lady’s Grove and another proposed sale of land at Clonkeen College in Blackrock, there is a very worrying trend of land around schools in our area being sold off for residential development when it should be used to safeguard the present and future needs of our educational facilities.”
Labour’s Lettie McCarthy sees the issue as both a “moral and ethical” one. She told The Gazette: “We are all aware how vital adequate playing pitches and recreational resources are for our young school going people.
“A variation of the Development Plan will take several months and there is nothing to prevent a developer lodging a planning application (in this time) which the planning department and An Bord Pleanala will be obliged to accept from a zoning perspective, so time is of the essence.
“I am calling on the Minister of Education to intervene immediately and ensure this land stays with the school.”
Following the news of its decision to proceed with the sale of the land despite the wide objection from parents, locals and politicians, the Sisters of Jesus and Mary issued a statement that said: “Engagement with all stakeholders on site was initiated and meetings held.
“Fair and equitable agreement was sought from all stakeholders to positively progress a planning application for the lands.
“Support was required from all stakeholders on site to progress a planning application. As this support was not forthcoming the lands were offered for sale and the process has now concluded with the sale to Durkan Estates Clonskeagh Limited.”

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