Green light for schools at Clooney base

An artist's impression of what the new Foyle College building might look like.
An artist's impression of what the new Foyle College building might look like.

Unanimous backing has been given to a planning application for a £40 million new-build for Foyle College and Ebrington Primary School on the site of the former Clooney barracks off Limavady Road in the Waterside.

The green light was given yesterday, Tuesday, at Derry City Council’s planning committee meeting, and it is hoped that plant machinery will roll onto the site before the end of the year, with completion in time for the 400th anniversary of Foyle College in 2017.

The bespoke state-of-the-art development will include a new primary school and nursery complex, sports pitches on site and fully-kitted, high-tech classrooms.

At the meeting DUP Alderman Drew Thompson welcomed the approval for the much-needed schools, and he thanked the planning services for getting the proposal though the planning process.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Thompson said he welcomed the development and said: “I want to wish them every success and hope the buildings will be up and running as soon as possible.”

At the meeting UUP Alderman Mary Hamilton and SDLP Councillor Gerald Diver also welcomed the approval.

Expressing delight at the approval, Robin Young, chairman of the Board of Governors at Foyle College, said he was delighted to have moved the development to this stage.

“In total this is a £40 million project that includes a primary school and nursery unit and the cost also includes the land purchase, which happened in 2009.

“The development will be a state-of the art school to meet the needs of pupils, and it will be a single site, whereas at moment we have a dual site. All the playing fields will be on the school site, and the next plan is that we complete the tender stage with tenders going out, hopefully in late August, with contractors appointed in November-December, and on site shortly after,” he said, adding that it would be a 24-month build with the primary school finished six month before the college

“We will be moving in, in time to celebrate our 400th anniversary in 2017,” he said.