There was great celebration this week with the news that planning permission has been granted by An Bord Pleanála for the new Coláiste na Coiribe all Irish secondary school in Knocknacarra.
The bord granted permission with 19 conditions - three of which specifically deal with local residents’ concerns, such as the erection of signage preventing through traffic, construction of a gate, and the development of a traffic plan - for the school, which is set to cater for 720 students
The development has been welcomed by Independent city councillor Catherine Connolly, who described it as “fantastic news”, which sees the “residents fully vindicated” after a “very long battle”.
Planning permission for the school was granted by the Galway City Council in April, but residents of Fána Burca believed their concerns about the proposed building were not taken on board and so appealed the decision to ABP.
The residents sought the development of a traffic plan to prevent school traffic using Fána Burca as a through way and/or drop-off point. They also wanted a gate on the pedestrian/cycle entrance from the estate to the new school. This gate, residents argued, could be open during the day to allow full pedestrian/cycle access and closed in the evening.
Their concerns were supported by Cllr Connolly who was a member of both the City Vocational Education Committee and the board of management of Colaiste na Coiribe from 1999 to 2009
“This was a very difficult decision for both the residents and myself as I had fought every step of the way for the new school,” she said. Cllr Connolly also facilitated a meeting between city planners and Fána Burca residents.
With planning permission now granted for the school and residents concerns met, Cllr Connolly said the next step is to ensure “the rapid construction” of Coláiste na Coiribea “in accordance with the conditions and a celebration on its opening”.