Supporting Local News

Community firmly behind plans for new expanded childcare facility

Galway County Council has been inundated with an avalanche of support for the provision of a new playschool facility in Clifden.

A planning application has been submitted by Clifden Community Playschool Limited for the childcare facility on the grounds of Scoil Mhuire National School, Hospital Hill, Clifden.

The playschool has operated from the Old Boy’s School, Low Road, Clifden since 1992, but the operators say that their facility has outgrown these much-loved premises and the Board of Directors and Manager have secured a site on the grounds of Scoil Mhuire NS for a purpose-built playschool.

Support for the project has also come from Cllr Eileen Mannion (FG) who had organised a pre-planning meeting with senior engineers from Galway County Council.

The Clifden-based councillor said that there was a huge demand for places and that the operators could not extend the existing facilities – so a new site was required.

“This is a much-needed development in Clifden as there are growing demand for childcare places in the town.

“There is a lot of support for such a facility and hopefully it will be favourably received by planners,” added Cllr Mannion who said that a decision on the planning application is due in early August.

It was stated in the planning application that the proposed development will increase the number of places from the current 18 to 44.

“This will centralise the educational system in the town area providing a safer pick-up and drop-off area and parking than the current situation for the applicant.

“This will also reduce the high percentage of traffic volume which is currently having to travel to both locations. This would be significantly reduced if both were centralised to the same area.

“This has been highlighted in the traffic management plan. The proposed structure as close as possible to the existing building without interfering with any of the buildings on site.

“The proposed location of the structure is also within the community facilities zoning as per the county development plan,” it was further stated in the application.

More than a dozen letters of support for the project accompanied the planning application and one of these came from the HSE’s Clifden Health Centre.

In it, it was stated that the playschool offers educational and emotional developmental opportunities to young children in the catchment area.

“The current building is small and conditions are cramped. The building is located amongst residential buildings and in close proximity to the street,” it was stated.

The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Francis Duffy was another who supported the project along with Clifden Chamber of Commerce, a number of local GPs, a local residents association, Clifden Parent and Toddler Group among several others.

A decision on the planning application is due on August 8.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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