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24 May 2022

Laois school appeals planning conditions seen as 'threat to viability' of new build

Laois special needs school building 'totally inadequate' says principal

Kolbe Special School in Portlaoise

A Laois school’s Board of Management has appealed Laois County Council’s planning approval for a new building arguing that conditions attached would entail “additional cost”  which would be a "threat the viability" of the site for a special school.

Planning for the news single storey building for Kolbe National School, which consists of eight classrooms, a GP Hall, specialist education species, administration areas, circulation, parking spaces and pedestrian and road access was approved with conditions on February 15.

It’s nearly 40 years since Kolbe moved into its existing location on the Block Road at Beladd. The school, which caters for children with complex needs and levels of disability, has only one permanent classroom. It has been relying on prefabs, some of which are in poor condition and not totally sound or weather proofed. 

Laois County Council’s decision to grant planning permission was warmly received last month. However, the Board of Management has since took issue with some of the conditions attached to the planning and lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanala.

In the appeal to An Bord Pleanála they state that the “proposed alignments of the road  is not in accordance with the outline envisaged.”

They argued that the “the presence of the road, in both proposed locations, prejudices the creation of calm, safe and secure environment as envisaged by the applicant.” 

“Accordingly, conditions I(B) and 1(A), present an unacceptable reduction in amenity for the proposed school, entail additional cost to the project and pose a threat to the viability of the site for a special school of this nature.” 

The Kolbe NS caters for children with severe disabilities.

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