Councillor Derek Mitchell (FG)
C/o Kiltoorish, Manor Avenue, Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
Phone/Fax 01-2874115(H), 087-2574969.
2nd December, 2009
Mr E Sheehy,
Wicklow County Council.
Why new Secondary School site should be near Charlesland and the IDA site.
The IDA made a presentation to Greystones Town Council stating that they intend to start work on the Charlesland end of their, 80 acre, site in January 2010. They have not achieved getting any jobs in the 25 years which they have controlled the site so progress is welcome, with one major reservation.
Another secondary school is required in few years time and it is blindingly obvious that it should be sited in the Charlesland/Eden Gate area (see later). Over time I have asked the IDA to reserve 11 acres for purchase by the Department of Education. I also asked the latter Department to get involved but they have refused to take any interest in school location.
11 acres must be reserved, next to Charlesland, for a Secondary School Site.
The IDA plans to put a road and infrastructure into the south end and seek IDA type employers. This will also isolate, without road access, approx. 3 acres of industrially zoned land owned by Wicklow County Council. 11 acres, including the Council’s 3 acres, must be reserved for Education and access arrangements worked out. The IDA should move their development North of the Education Area. There is plenty of land on their 80 acre site for this.
The IDA also intend selling off, to a developer of Commercial Estates the middle section of their site and to seek rezoning to Town Centre for the North Section on Mill Road. There is enough land already zoned for Shopping Centres, so the sold off section should be moved North with possibly a part reserved to allow Mill Road become a dual carriageway.
At least one New School will be needed.
The 2006 Census records, for Greystones/Delgany, a population of 14,569, Secondary schoolchildren 1155, a ratio of 8%. Assuming that the Local Secondary School has 420 pupils (50 from outside the area) then 785 go outside the area.
The 2016 projected population is 21,000, with about 3,000 in surrounding areas, 24,000. Normally it is assumed that 8.5% of the population are in Secondary School, 8.5% is 2040 pupils. Assuming 850 go outside then 1190 places are needed locally. 2.8 times the present number.
The 2022 projected population of Greystones/Delgany is 24,000 with about 4,000 in surrounding areas, gives a total of 28,000. 8.5% of the population is 2380 pupils. Assuming 900 go to school outside the area then 1480 places are required within Greystones. This is 3.5 times the number who go locally at present.
The sudden expansion of the town and young age of the children means that the school numbers are currently below what would be indicated by population size. The Department of Education can monitor Primary Enrolments and tell when a new Secondary will be needed, however the figures show very clearly that at least one and probably two more will be needed.
The New Secondary School must be close to Charlesland/Eden Gate. This is ‘Blindingly Obvious’
In the last 7 years over 2,000 new homes (With about 4,500 people) have been built in the Charlesland and Eden Gate Area (382 Secondary pupils, at the 8.5% ratio, which is nearly a school full). Mainly bought by young people there are a lot of babies, these are now starting to go to the Primary Schools and in a few years time will be going to Secondary School.
There are excellent cycle paths and footpaths from these estates, and the sports facilities listed below, to the IDA site so pupils do not have to be driven, thus saving the Environment. The site is in between the Charlesland Sports Centre with running track, artificial surface soccer and tennis facilities and the Swimming Pool and large indoor sports hall all of which are Council owned. There are also GAA, Rugby, Tennis and Soccer Clubs close by. It is a perfect place for a school.
A site exists for a Secondary school at Blacklion next to the new Educate Together and Gaelscoile. These have only 3 out of 9 years at the moment. When full, traffic will be a big problem and cycle and footpath access are poor. Putting a Secondary School on the same site will produce major traffic congestion on the access road to the town. There are no sports facilities in that area.
It would be madness to sell off State Owned land, which is in the perfect position for the future new school, and I will be opposing the plan unless the school is provided for.
The Code of Practice on the Provision of Schools and the Planning System (page 10) emphasises the need for sustainable mobility, ease of access, closeness to expansion areas and sports facilities in selecting school sites. If the Council and Department of Education do not use this opportunity to place the school next to Charlesland it will demonstrate that the Department of Education and Local Government are ignoring this Code of Practice.
I would ask that you would work with the relevant parties and ensure that proper planning for the school site takes place.
IDA to start work on Greystones Site but no provision for Charlesland School
The IDA presented its plan for its 80 acre site to Greystones Town Council on Wednesday. They intend to develop the section next to Charlesland by putting in a road next January and seeking tenants. The next section they intend to sell off to a developer of Industrial sites and at Mill Road they want to rezone for Town Centre which would allow a Shopping Centre.
The IDA has owned this site for 25 years and has done nothing with it except grow grass. There has been no political will to provide jobs in Greystones. I welcome the IDA deciding to do something to create jobs on the site.
A long time ago I asked that 11 acres, next to Charlesland, would be reserved for a new Secondary School. I am extremely disappointed that the IDA have ignored this and are to build on it. They should reserve a site for a school next to Charlesland and develop jobs on the other 2 sections and not rezone for a shopping centre. ‘I told the IDA that I was opposed to the plan unless land was reserved for a school’
The town has expanded 40% over the last 5 years and there are many new children in the 2,000 new homes in Charlesland and Eden Gate. The current site for a new Secondary school is by Lidl, the opposite end of the town with poor cycle and pedestrian access. Also there are 2 Primary Schools there and traffic congestion will be a problem. Only 35% of Secondary Students attend school within the town which adds to the need for a new school. I was disappointed that no other Councillor supported locating the school where demand is greatest and that Cllr. Stokes (Labour) said we did not need a new school and that the Lidl site was appropriate if one was needed.
26th November 2009
Greystones/Delgany: Where Secondary School Children go to School.
Based on 2006 census.
- The Local Secondary School has 420 pupils, 50 from outside Greystones/Delgany.
- The split between Bray and Dublin is assumed from the travel mode numbers. The numbers in the 3 area schools are considered reasonably accurate.
- Kilcoole school has now reached its capacity of 570 and it was confirmed that 50 from Greystones would be about correct in 2006.
- East Glendalough has a capacity of 360. It is 3 times oversubsribed and has to turn many away. It also has about 40 from Kilcoole/Kilpeddar/Newcastle who might prefer to go to an Educate Together School in Greystones. Other pupils from Bray/Kilmaccanouge/Newtown might also prefer to go to a school in Greystones leaving space in EG for pupils from the rest of Wicklow who have no suitable alternative.
- Many pupils emerging from the Bray School Project would like to go to an Educate Together School even if it was in Greystones. The 84 and 184 bus provide a reasonable service.
- Census may include Charlesland as Kilcoole, not Greystones. However in 2006 there would be few secondary pupils in Charlesland.
- The number using the train, 262, is 40% higher than the next highest town in Ireland. Next highest is Donnabate 187, Bray 174,Skerries 160, Malahide 154.
- Irish Rail has confirmed that the figure using the train is accurate.
- One or two private minibuses are organised by parents to take pupils to Wesley.
Less than half (40%) of the secondary pupils are educated in the local catchment area. 693 go outside the catchment area to both fee paying and ‘free’ schools.
The very large increase in population, 40% in 5 years, requires a large expansion in Secondary capacity over the 2006 numbers.
It is desirable to encourage residents to send more pupils to school within the area and any extra school capacity must be of a type to encourage this.