Temporary location of school ‘problematic’ in Sandyford

by Rebecca Ryan
Brian Leeson at the front of the Grafton House, Ballymoss Road, Sandyford Industrial Estate building

Concerns have been raised over the temporary location of a new school in Sandyford Industrial Estate.

The Department of Education has applied for permission for the development at Grafton House on the Ballymoss Road, which will consist of the temporary change of use of the existing building to a temporary two storey primary school.

Éirígí local election candidate Brian Leeson said the Department’s plans are “highly problematic.”

“The Department of Education and Skills is opening a new school for the Goatstown/Stillorgan feeder area in September 2019.

“They have applied for planning permission to temporarily locate this school in an industrial premises on the Ballymoss Road in the Sandyford Business District.

“The entire concept of temporary locations for new schools is highly problematic for students, parents and staff as it leaves them without certainty or proper facilities.

“Ballinteer Educate Together has already been located in two ‘temporary’ premises and are now no closer to having permanent school buildings than they were eight years ago,” said Mr Leeson.

He also feels the site at Sandyford Industrial Estate is unsuitable as the playground is bordered by a site looking for planning permission to develop “460 apartments” which will result in “significant dust and noise pollution,” as well as traffic and accessibility issues to the site which is on a narrow cul-de-sac.

Mr Leeson also believes that temporary schools are also “bad news” for the taxpayer.

“The Department are going to have to spend a considerable amount of money converting an industrial premise into a school that will be used for no more than five years.

“If it turns out that the building is being rented by the Department, that will only add to the expense for the taxpayer,” said Mr Leeson.

He believes the money should instead be spent on the construction of permanent school buildings.

An spokesperson from the Department of Education told Dublin Gazette: “The Government announced plans in April 2018 for the establishment of 42 new schools over the next four years (2019 to 2022), including a new 16 classroom school to be established in September 2019 to serve the Goatstown/Stillorgan/ DLR school planning area.

“The Department is currently examining all potential suitable site options to serve the relevant area and in the interim the school will be established in Sept 2019 in suitable interim accommodation pending delivery of its permanent school building.

“The Department has applied for planning permission to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to use a building on Ballymoss Road, Sandyford Business Park as the interim location for the school.”

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