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De La Salle release new pitch plans

ON THE GREEN: The proposed school pitch and landscaped walkways at Glassmullin
ON THE GREEN: The proposed school pitch and landscaped walkways at Glassmullin
By Staff Reporter

A PROPOSED new sports development went on display at De La Salle College last night, Wednesday, as the school presented their revised pitch plans to the local community for Glassmullin green.
The £1.6m plans have previously been met with an angry response from some residents who fear losing the open green on their doorsteps. Friends of Glassmullin Open Green (FOGOG) have campaigned against the new  pitch development since they were first mooted.
The development and planning of facilities at Glassmullin by De La Salle College and Belfast City Council has been ongoing since 2103. The school argues that the pupils currently have no readily accessible outdoor sports provision. The school say that in developing the Council owned location at Glassmullin, the needs of the local and wider community have been to the forefront of the school’s thinking resulting in a design which maximises both school and community needs. Community provision will be additional to the existing indoor facilities in the De La Salle which are operating at maximum capacity for local sports clubs.
The plans have been significantly revised three times following consultation, resulting in a final plan which meets school needs while making provision for extensive landscaped open space facilities for local residents.
The sports provision now occupies under fifty per cent of the land available with the remainder as managed landscape development. There will be extensive availability of the facility for community use outside school hours including weekends and holidays, and the community will have a “significant role” in planning opening times, use of lighting and other operational issues.
Yesterday FOGOG tweeted: “The school chose to remain at the Edenmore site in 2008 and received millions of pounds of public money to build the school building without space for a pitch.”
It is expected that the preferred contractor will be able to commence works by Easter, with works completing in early Spring 2020.
Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary for the Department of Education said: “The Department welcomes that the pupils of De La Salle College will soon have this new sports facility and that it will also be available out-of-school hours to other young people and the wider community in the area. The new pitch and pavilion, which are being provided under the Department’s Schools Enhancement Programme, will reduce the time pupils spend travelling in buses to use facilities in other schools, when they could be undertaking their sporting activities.”
It is envisaged that the resulting design will ensure complementary provision for the boys at the school and the local community over the years ahead.

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