Schools merger plan progressing

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council. (Editorial Image).
Mid & East Antrim Borough Council. (Editorial Image).

A plan to build a new primary school between Glenravel and Martinstown is progressing, Mid & East Antrim councillors have heard.

An update report presented to the latest meeting in Ballymena of Council’s Community Planning Committee on the proposed scheme, which would see the amalgamation of Glenravel Primary School in Martinstown and St Mary’s Primary School, Cargan, confirmed that planning permission has now been passed.

It was also pointed out that a number of planning conditions have been identified relating to the provision of an adequate footpath linking the proposed new school to the villages of Cargan and Glenravel.

Committee members were informed that the completion of the path must now be progressed on a cross departmental basis involving the Department of Education (DE), the Department of Regional Development (DRD), the Department of Social Development (DSD), the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) and other potential funders.

The report also pointed out that if the path to connect the school and the two villages cannot be delivered by working together with all the relevant statutory partners, the planning conditions attached to the development will not be met and that in that event, “the school will have to look again at alternatives”.

The committee went on to agree an officer recommendation that the Council’s Chief Executive engage with the relevant statutory bodies, including DE, DRD, DSD, CCMS, and other potential funders to seek opportunities to secure funding to progress the enabling works associated with the new build scheme for the amalgamated primary school; to work with the Glenravel community and the Community Planning Committee to examine the general power of competence and how the project can be supported working with key partners; and, to examine other sources of funding that may contribute to the delivery of the path.

Committee members agreed the recommendation on the proposal of Cllr Paul Reid, seconded by Cllr Geraldine Mulvenna.

“This is Council working at its best...trying to get education to children,” Cr Reid said.