Green light for new school building in Cork city centre

Green light for new school building in Cork city centre
Artist impression - Christian Brothers College, Cork. A proposed New School House will add seven classrooms, a library, canteen and multipurpose hall to Christian Brother College, maintaining existing student numbers and supporting existing teaching facilities. Photo O'Donnell & Tuomey Architects.

Permission has been granted by An Bord Pleanála for an educational development in the heart of Cork city.

Christian Brothers College on Sidney Hill has been given the go ahead for the construction of a new five storey school house, as well as for works to the existing CBC preparatory school.

The works will include seven new classrooms, a library, canteen, staff office accommodation and multipurpose hall in a five storey building.

Derelict sheds on St Patrick’s Hill will be demolished, as will the walls around the south-western section of the site, but the masonry wall onto St. Patrick’s Hill will be reinstated following construction.

An extension to the existing Preparatory School is to be constructed to house a library.

A new entrance porch and roof solar panels are to be added to the main school building, while covered terraced seating is to be added to the north side of the existing sports pitch.

Cork City Council had previously granted permission for the development at Sidney Hill, Wellington Road and 7a St. Patrick’s Hill, subject to 33 conditions, but subsequently two third party appeals were made to An Bord Pleanála.

The submissions on the development highlighted a number of issues including congestion and parking problems, as well as highlighting a lack of “safe queuing or drop off facilities”.

One of the appellants said they would be willing to accept the development “should a condition be attached restricting pupil numbers to no more than 1,072”, while the other suggests 1,100.

The response from Christian Brothers College Board of Management stated: “There are 911 pupils enrolled in the secondary school. Originally the school was designed to cater for 600. There are 161 pupils in the preparatory school. There is no permission or condition which restricts the school numbers.” They added that the development would not result in an increase in student numbers, bar minor fluctuations year on year, and said that a restriction on student numbers would be unnecessary.

They also claimed the proposal would not exacerbate existing traffic problems in the area.

An Bord Pleanála granted permission subject to 16 conditions.

They have stated that all trees identified for retention in the Tree Survey Report shall be retained in their entirety and maintained to form a feature of the proposed development.

Another of the conditions states that full details of the proposed pedestrian crossing and road markings and signage on St. Patrick’s Hill must be submitted for written agreement of Cork City Council’s planning department prior to the commencement of development.

10% of the car parking spaces within the school campus must be provided with electrical connection points, while at least 228 bicycle spaces must be included in the development.

An Bord Pleanála issued no conditions regarding student numbers at the school.

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