Planning permission has been granted for a new school in a village in Cork, despite objections from the State body in charge of inland fisheries which claimed it could result in pollution of local rivers.
An Bord Pleanála has upheld the decision of Cork County Council to grant planning permission for the construction of a new school building to the board of management of Scoil an Athar Tadhg in Carrignavar.
The board rejected an appeal by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) against the project but placed a limit on the numbers enrolled in the new school to the existing level of 338 pupils as well as 62 staff which had been suggested by the board of management.
The new school will be a two-storey building containing 14 classrooms as well as office, special education tuition rooms, library, resource rooms, and a five-classroom ASD unit. It is located a short distance from the existing school. It has a capacity to accommodate 480 pupils and 80 staff.
IFI claimed the existing public sewerage system in Carrignavar, north of Cork City, is already overloaded and that the school should not be occupied until it is upgraded or an alternative method is put in place. The waste water treatment plant for Carrignavar treats and discharges into the Cloghnagashee River which flows into Glashaboy River, which enters Cork Harbour at Glanmire. IFI said the plant at Carrignavar is constantly breaching its licence requirements and the new development would have significant negative impacts on water quality and fisheries habitats as it would result in an increase of almost 25% to the sewage network.
However, the school’s board of management claims the new school would not add to the existing load on the system and would result in some improvements due to water conservationmeasures and improved parking. On that basis, IFI stated it would have no objection if a planning condition was imposed limiting students and staff to their current numbers.
The board said that, subject to a number of planning conditions, the proposed new school will not be prejudicial to public health and will not adversely impact on residential and other amenities in the area. It also concluded that it will not generate traffic issues that would endanger public safety.
One of the conditions is that the new school cannot connect its wastewater system with the public sewage network without the prior approval of Irish Water.
In reaching its decision, the board said it had considered the need for improved educational facilities within the village of Carrignavar as well as the requirement to limit the accommodation of the school to existing pupils and staff due to constraints in the existing public sewage system.
An inspector with An Bord Pleanála inspector said the existing school is on a notably congested and constrained site and the new school would “significantly enhance the community’s educational facilities”.