Corran school renewal delayed over traffic fears

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Councillors are pressing for revised traffic management at Corran Integrated Primary School before planning permission is renewed.

Larne’s only integrated primary school has submitted an application for a time-limited, temporary retention of its existing complex at Blackcave North.

The Planning Service has indicated it is minded to approve this request.

But the final decision has been put on hold after elected members called for the Planning Management Board to consider the matter.

While councillors have stressed they are not opposed to the school, they highlighted that residents have complained for years about traffic congestion at school run times.

Larne Mayor Councillor Martin Wilson told the Times: “There have been over 50 letters of objection from residents regarding this application, which shows the level of concern in the community surrounding this issue.

“The Education Minister announced last year that plans for a permanent school building at the current site are in the pipeline.

“Residents have been waiting years for this to happen, in the hopes that the ongoing traffic issues will finally be sorted out.

“But here we have another application for a temporary extension. This is only adding to the frustration felt by people in the area, as it is not addressing the problem.

“Residents cannot be expected to live like this. The traffic build up is causing real problems for these people on a daily basis, and they need some kind of certainty about what the future holds.”

Cllr Wilson said Larne Council would be lobbying the Department of Education to lodge an application for a permanent facility as soon as possible.

Principal of Corran PS, Denise Macfarlane said the school shared residents’ concerns regarding traffic management issues.

Mrs Macfarlane, who took over as principal in 2005 following a 10 year stint as a teacher at the school, added: “I am very much looking forward to having a permanent building on our current site.

“The school will have a significant input into the plans and we are meeting with the Department on a monthly basis to discuss the issue.

“The design team will soon be appointed and this is a great opportunity for us to come up with innovative ways to tackle traffic problems in the area.

“We are hoping to collaborate closely with the local community on this matter throughout the planning process.”