North Down Alliance Councillor, Stephen Farry, has called for the education authorities to facilitate the building of an integrated school on land zoned for a new primary school in south Bangor within a wider housing development, under the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan.
The land in question is BR 05/13 – Housing: Land to the north of Green Road. 24.36 hectares of land are zoned for housing, with a density between 25 and 35 dwellings per hectare. BMAP requires that provision shall be made for a primary school on 2 hectares of land alongside community facilities.
Stephen Farry stated:
“Here is an excellent opportunity for a new built integrated primary school in outer Bangor.
“There are currently proposals for up to 500 houses to be built between the Green Road and the Balloo Road in Bangor. This land is zoned as such within the draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan (BR 05/13).
“Amongst other requirements such as shopping and community facilities, any developer would be expected to built a new primary school.
“Right across the community, there is considerable demand for integrated education within the North Down area. Existing schools such as Bangor Central are very successful, and are indeed over-subscribed.
“I believe that there should be a presumption that insofar as is possible all new build schools should be integrated. Shortly, the Government will be publishing their new strategy for a shared future. We should be looking to develop integrated communities with respect to housing, leisure and community facilities, and education.
“Most of the new housing development in Bangor over the next 15 years is going to be concentrated in this area, and some other developments close by. There will be a lot of young families with children buying these new homes.
“An integrated school would clearly have the widest appeal in a mixed area. If people are provided with the choice of integrated facilities they will use them. This is a good opportunity to cater for public demand for such education. It should not be missed.
“I have written to the Education Minister, Barry Gardiner MP, and the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education urging them to seize this excellent opportunity to meet the growing demand for integrated education.”