CORK city councillors have voted to sell a section of local authority owned land in Glanmire to the Minister for Education for €1.5m, paving the way for the development of a new special school.
The decision to sell the land measuring approximately 3.08 hectares at Brooklodge was made at Monday night’s council meeting.
In a report to councillors ahead of the meeting, city council’s chief executive Ann Doherty said the sum of €1.5m, which is exclusive of VAT, “represents the best consideration reasonably obtainable based on an independent valuation from the Valuation Office”.
The disposal is subject to the Department of Education obtaining planning permission for the construction of a suitable school premises at the site.
The valuation provided is valid for the two-year period during which planning permission is being sought, after which the council has the right to request an updated valuation from the State Valuers Office.
Earlier this year, the Department of Education had confirmed that an agreement in principle had been reached regarding the purchase of the site in Brooklodge.
In response to a parliamentary question submitted by Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, Pádraig O’Sullivan, Education Minister Norma Foley said officials in her Department were “working towards the acquisition of a permanent site to meet the needs of a new special school” and had “engaged with officials in Cork City Council in that respect”.
Ms Foley said the Department of Education would work with Cork City Council to advance the acquisition of the site for the new special school.
Speaking to The Echo following the council meeting on Monday, Independent councillor Ger Keohane said the new special school will be “a very welcome development”.
Pádraig O’Sullivan TD told The Echo city and council officials were to be commended for helping to progress the development of the new special school.
“We're all aware of the serious shortfall of Special Education places, particularly in Dublin and Cork, and this will go a long way toward addressing those Cork waiting lists.” The land disposal was the second disposal of land to the Minister of Education voted through at Monday night’s council meeting.
Councillors also voted in favour of a proposal to sell council-owned land in Lehenaghmore to the Minister for the sum of €2m exclusive of VAT.
The sale of the land, situated adjacent to Ashbrook Heights and measuring approximately 1.52 hectares, is to facilitate the development of a new school for South Lee Educate Together National School (ETNS).