File pic: The Thomastown school is set to get a new extension
Planning permission has been granted for a new single-storey building providing six replacement classrooms at Grennan College in Thomastown.
The permission allows for alterations and a minor extension to the rear of the existing school building, the demolition of an existing music room building and prefab classroom building, and construction of a new single storey building to the side of the existing main building providing six prefab, replacement classrooms, along with all associated site and development works.
The replacement building will include four classrooms, a home economics room and music room. External finishes will include self render to external walls with a portion finished with a dark grey tegral cement façade. The building will be set back in line with the main school and will be connected via a pedestrian route.
No third-party submissions were made during the planning process, and no objections came from the council's roads or environrment departments, or from Irish Water. A screening exercise was completed, which showed that no significant impact is likely having regard to the distance of the subject site from any Natura 2000 site.
The site is zoned for community facilities in the current and in the draft local Area Plan. It is considered that the proposed development for extension to existing educational facility complies with the zoning objective and is acceptable in principle.
In her report, the council's planner Catriona Bambrick noted that the school currently has plans to extend and upgrade facilities, however, this will be to replace obsolete classroom prefabs and will not significantly increase capacity. She said that, based on projections, it could be estimated there may be an additional 57 persons of school going age by 2025, 33 of whom would be at primary level and 24 at secondary level.
"On this basis there appears to be an emerging capacity issue in terms of the primary school services in particular," she said.
"The council will support the appropriate and sustainable extension of the existing school, in order to accommodate the projected growth in population."