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Louth County Council Refuse to Plan for Future Schools

category louth | miscellaneous | news report author Tuesday September 26, 2006 12:29author by natassjaauthor email natassja85 at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Louth County Council have refused to reserve sites for secondary schools in the Drogheda area for future pupils. The planned development proposes to cater for over 20,000 people and yet there will be no educational facility for people of secondary-school-going age to attend.

Sinn Féin Councillor Imelda Munster has expressed her disappointment at the refusal of local Councillors to support a motion calling on Louth County
Council to reserve sites for two post primary schools. Councillor Munster
wanted the sites identified and reserved in advance of the planned 7,100 houses and apartments due to be built on the northern environs of Drogheda.
The motion put forward by Sinn Féin and seconded by Independent Cllr Ken O Heiligh if passed would have meant that planning officials where mandated by the council to put out the draft zonings for public consultation, thus leaving it wide open for the Dept of Education, VEC and Religious Orders to make submissions. By January 2007 at latest the variation would have been made and the two sites identified and reserved, Louth County Council could then approach the Dept of Education and request them to acquire the land and start to build the schools in tandem with the residential development. It is vital that school sites be specifically identified so that developers can make provision in advance for mains water, sewerage and safe pedestrian road access etc. For too long this country has neglected to implement proper planning procedures in advance of developments, which has culminated in the ongoing fiasco similar to that in East Meath. Educational facilities are the centre of every growing community and in my opinion an opportunity to act now in advance of large-scale residential development has sadly been lost.

Commenting Cllr Munster said
"The situation in East Meath gives fore warning on how crucial it is to
ensure proper planning procedures are in place before any developments are given the green light. It also puts the onus on public representatives to
insist that planning developments are both sustainable and that proper
infrastructure is in place. As an elected representative I believe that we
have a responsibility to ensure that we work in the best interests of the
people to whom you are elected to serve.

The Drogheda Northern Environs plan, which was passed by Louth County
Council earlier this year, consists of a plan to build up to 7,100 houses
and apartments on the outskirts of Drogheda. This development will cater for an additional population of over 20,000 people, which was effectively the population of Drogheda ten years ago.
While there are provisions made for three primary schools within the plan
there are currently no provisions for the two large post primary school
sites, which would be required to sustain a development of this size. The
motion submitted would have ensured that no child that comes to live within
the Northern Environs Plan would be denied the right to attend a school in
there own locality. The first step needed in this process is to identify the
land area needed, and then to zone and reserve it in advance of residential
development beginning. What we also need to do as public representatives is to insist that the Dept of Education proceed to build the schools in tandem with the proposed development".

Related Link: http://www.louthcoco.ie/Index.aspx?deptid=22&dpageid=3
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