Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Downpatrick’s new post-primary school gets the thumbs-up

The Environment Minister has approved plans for a new school in Downpatrick, a project that is expected to provide a major boost to the local construction industry.

Edwin Poots rubber-stamped plans for the new post-primary school to replace the existing Down High School, which is on a site that doesn’t allow for expansion and modernisation.

The Department of the Environment said the application for the school was processed in under six months by the Strategic Projects Team at Planning Service Headquarters following pre-application discussions.

The minister said: “This approval will now enable the South Eastern Education & Library Board to move forward with the plans to provide a modern, spacious accommodation conducive to delivering a high standard of education to children.

“This is another fine example of what can be gained from engaging in pre-application discussions where key issues can be identified at an early stage allowing the application to pass through the statutory planning process quickly. On the cusp of Christmas, this provides a welcome boost to the construction industry.”

The proposal consists of ancillary sports pitches and car parks, together with all associated site works such as landscaping, accesses and off-site road improvements. These include the junction of Quoile Road with Old Belfast Road, and the junction of Belfast Road and New Bridge Street.