Education news

Planning permission granted for new £25 million school building in Glens of Antrim

Planning permission has been approved by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council planning committee

PLANNING permission has been approved for a new £25 million school building in the Glens of Antrim.

A proposal for the construction of a new 9,737 sq metre building and demolition of existing school buildings at St Killian’s College, Carnlough, was given the go-ahead by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s planning committee.

Council officer Henry McAlister told the committee that the proposed redevelopment involves a new building attached to the existing listed Garron Tower, the ground floor of which will be refurbished at the 11-hectare Tower Road site.

It is located in the Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Mr McAlister said: "There are particular sensitivities with this site in terms of its scenic location, the existing listed buildings, areas of archaeological interest and protected national and European sites which are in close proximity.

"The proposed lay-out includes a phased development to allow the school to operate to remain open with main demolition works to take place during school holidays.

"The new buildings are generally to be located on the established built footprint of the existing site with a mix of two and three storey buildings over split levels mostly finished with flat roofs.

"This will reduce the overall visual impact."

He said the proposal "will provide modern educational facilities for 800 post-primary pupils and there will be wider community benefits" adding that the planning department and Historical Environment Division recommendation was that "full planning permission and listed building consent be granted",

DUP councillor Angela Smyth said it was "a good news story for the school".

"It started off Garron Tower and then St Killian’s. A lot of history there," she said.

"It is great to see old buildings being retained. A new building will be great for future pupils and for the future of the school. I propose we accept the recommendation."

Her proposal was seconded by Alliance councillor Robert Logan and approved unanimously.

Commenting on the decision, St Killian’s principal Jonny Brady said he was "delighted at what is a significant step forwards toward a new school in east Antrim and the Glens".

"I am especially delighted for all of our students and staff who thoroughly deserve to have the best resources to continue to deliver the high quality of learning and teaching which has been the hallmark of St Killian’s and for our parents who have supported us throughout this time and who will all now begin to see the rewards in the building of a state of the art school to deliver both curricular and pastoral excellence.

"It will be a great resource for the whole community."

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