St Bride’s Primary School in Belfast gets approval for new eight classroom building

St Bride's PS
St Bride's Primary School in South Belfast

A South Belfast primary school has been given the green light to build a new eight class building.

At the latest meeting of the Belfast City Council Planning Committee, elected representatives approved the construction of a new single storey eight class school building at St Bride’s Primary School, Derryvolgie Avenue, Malone Lower, BT9.

The plan involves the partial demolition of the existing school building and removal of three temporary classrooms on the Derryvolgie Avenue campus.

As well as the new building there will be a new drop-off/collection layby on the Windsor Ave campus off the road, and there will be new access onto Windsor Avenue. There will also be alterations to the existing car parking and play areas as well as associated landscaping and site works.

The current St Bride’s Primary School site is split across two sites, the larger site is situated between Derryvolgie Avenue and Windsor Avenue with access from both these roads.

The plan was recommended by Belfast council officers. The planning report states: “The proposal involves an extension of the existing Derryvolgie campus and a new build classroom situated on a tarmac area within the Windsor Avenue campus.

“The proposal is situated within the existing school campus and makes good use of the existing land ensuring the proposed community infrastructure is within an appropriate and accessible location. The design is appropriate to the location and given the existing building has no architectural merit and the new building will make use of vacant land the proposal will enhance the conservation area.

“No objections have been received from consultees other than NI Water which is concerned about waste-water capacity. There is an outstanding response from Shared Environmental Services and no objections are expected following a positive response from Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

“There is an outstanding Department for Infrastructure Rivers response, following the submission of a missing appendix within the drainage assessment and a maintenance programme for the proposed drainage system.”

The council received no objections from local residents or businesses.

A representative for St Bride’s said: “Essentially the proposed development is replacing on a like-for-like basis, and it is going to ensure the school is compliant with the requirements of the Department of Education’s building handbook and provide a safe and suitable environment for pupils and staff.”

Balmoral Alliance Councillor Tara Brooks said: “I really welcome the pick-up and drop-off point, I think that is really important, particularly with a primary school. With really young kids, you can’t just turf them out of the car – and there are traffic issues there. It will really help in that area.”