Catherine Martin with BETNS outside Leinster House
Catherine Martin with BETNS outside Leinster House

Parents are outraged after planning permission has been refused for their school. 

Ballinteer Educate Together National School (BETNS) were hoping to get the green light for a permanent two-storey school building.

They are currently and temporarily located on the campus of Notre Dame school in Churchtown.

The reasons for the refusal included the proposed exit-only link onto busy Wyckham Way would endanger public safety, and the proposal use the existing access to St Tiernan’s through Parkvale to serve an additional 16 classroom school was deemed not acceptable on the grounds of impact on residential amenity of the existing Parkvale residents.

Parent from BETNS Amanda Bailey told Dublin Gazette that parents are beyond fed up.

“It’s the third or fourth no. We are beyond fed up. There doesn’t seem to be to any logic to it.

“We were led to believe that the Department of Education would work with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown [County Council] to find a solution that would be approved, and it doesn’t look like they engaged with them.

“We had about 200 parents submit observations supporting the school. We put so much time into getting people to support it.”

Ms Bailey said the temporarily location of the school on the campus of Notre Dame and the facilities are not suitable for their primary school children.

“The school is not appropriate. They are smaller classes. There is no running water at the moment in my sons’ class. The toilets aren’t the right size for the kids. The sinks are too high.

“To put five and six-year-olds into a secondary school is not right. The classes aren’t built the way they are in a primary school.”

Ms Bailey feels there is “no respect” for the parents or the children.

“I pay the same taxes as every other person whose child is in a purpose-built school, why should my child not be in a proper school.”

TD for Dublin Rathdown and Green Party Education Spokesperson Catherine Martin said that planning permission for a new PE hall for St Tiernan’s was also refused and that the refusals are devastating.

“This refusal of planning permission is devastating news for Ballinteer Educate Together National School, and it also is very disappointing for St Tiernan’s Community School, which has been refused a much needed sports hall.

“The apparent lack of any substantial engagement or communication between the Department of Education and the council on this matter is incredibly frustrating – particularly as this is something An Bord Pleanala specifically requested to help bring about a satisfactory resolution.

“The uncertainty facing these two school communities is unacceptable.”

Deputy Martin is calling on the Department of Education to inform both school communities on how they plan to resolve the situation.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council noted that: “The Planning Authority is more than willing to engage with the Department of Education to progress a solution to the access issue. Any future application should also address the drainage and parks issues.”