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Planning approval for Irish language school building

The proposed site layout of the Irish Language School and nursery unit

Mid Ulster District Council’s planning committee has approved an application to bring a new Irish language school building to Coalisland.

The application was lodged by Knox and Clayton Architects on behalf of Gaelscoil Ui Neill and seeks to demolish an existing building to erect a primary school (single unit), nursery (single unit) and playground on the site of the community centre in Gortgonis.

It had been hoped the application would have be ready to present to the committee in June alongside two related applications, that were approved at the time, for the development of Gortgonis Leisure Centre and enabling works at the site which fronts onto the Gortgonis Road.

In June, council’s head of planning Dr Chris Boomer explained the delay in the application was the need to wait for a comment from Road Service in relation to it.

A report presented to members of council’s planning committee at its meeting on Tuesday, July 5, recommended the application for approval and noted it has received one objection.

The objection concerns road safety, with the objector expressing the opinion road safety is already “bad” in this area and claims the development will make the situation worse, according to the report.

However, DfI Roads did not raise any concern over parking and access and the report states the works will “significantly improve the safety of road users along this stretch of road”.

“As there will be an improvement in road safety and the objector’s concern in relation to road safety issues are not determining in this case I am satisfied that the policies contained within PPS3 are met,” reads the report.

In conclusion, the report states the planning officer’s belief this will be “a high quality development that will provide a positive contribution to the local community of this area of Coalisland and delivers the aims and objectives of sustainable development”.

A proposal to accept the officer’s recommendation to approve the application was put forward by Sinn Féin councillor Sean Clarke and seconded by his party colleague and council’s chair, Councillor Cora Corry and this proposal was approved with the support of the chamber.

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