132 units proposed for Goatstown site surrounding Our Lady’s school

by Gary Ibbotson

Durkan Estates Clonskeagh Limited have filed a proposal with An Bord Pleanala for the construction of 132 residential units on the lands surrounding Our Lady’s Grove Secondary School in Goatstown.

The proposal includes the construction of 113 apartments, 19 houses, car parking, motorcycle parking, bicycle parking facilities, and renewable energy facilities.

The associated open space area will also accommodate a playground, according to the developers.

However, what is striking about the development is the proposal to demolish the current childcare facility, The Grove After School Care (GAS) in order to make way for the build.

The planning permission says that after the demolition of the facility “a new and enlarged childcare facility,” will be constructed on the north-eastern side of the site, near the existing tennis courts.

The application also repeatedly outlines that the developer has allowed the childcare facility to continue to operate despite its license expiring.

“Though not required to, the Applicant has facilitated the ongoing operation of the existing childcare facility on site, although the lease expired shortly after the site was purchased in 2017, in order that this important local service was not lost,” it says.

“The existing childcare facility (GAS) accommodates 55 No. children at any one time (with a total number of 99 No. individual children accommodated on any given day across two sessions a day).”

The application goes on to say that the new facility will accommodate 73 children at any one time, more than double the 31 child capacity required.

A local residents group, The Roebuck Residents Association says it will not make a comment at this time as it is working on preparing a submission to An Bord Pleanala and would rather keep its “views under wraps for now.”

The Department of Education also had no say on the matter as “the land which is proposed for development is not in the ownership of the Minister for Education & Skills. The Department has no role in respect of the operation of the facilities referred to,” said a spokesperson.

Fine Gael councillor, John Kennedy says he has concerns surrounding the lack of green space and traffic calming measures included in the plans.

“Surrounding residents and those connected to the school have not been happy about planned development here,” says Kennedy.

“I would have liked to see more open space allocated in tandem with the proposal.

“The additional residential component would be an extra layer on top of already existing Goatstown Road traffic.

“With this and other anticipated residential developments, as well as a new school set to be built in the immediate vicinity, now is the time to seriously review future traffic management plans for this road.”

Colm Dooley, the principal at Our Lady’s Grove Secondary School said: Our relationship with Durkan Estates Clonskeagh Limited has been very positive since they first started working here in 2014.

We have found them to be sensitive and accommodating to the workings of the schools in our campus.

We don’t have any direct involvement with Grove After School but my understanding is that there are detailed measures contained within the planning application to avoid disruption to their services and also an imminent delivery of a custom designed purpose built facility.

Our central focus at Our Lady’s Grove Secondary School is to continue to provide and improve our school community’s facilities.

This calendar year includes the provision of 150,000 euro refit of our Sports Hall, the provision of a national standard full-size hockey pitch and a new Common Room/Changing Facility building,” he says.

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