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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Ten classroom extension approved for primary school in Ballyclare

Newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School

Newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School


A planning application for a ten classroom extension at Fairview Primary School in Ballyclare was approved at a meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Monday evening.


Councillors were told the school located at Hillmount Avenue comprises of the main school building, playing fields and nine temporary prefabricated mobile buildings.



A planning officer told the meeting a single storey extension will be linked to the main building by a glazed walk way and the mobile units will be removed from the site after completion.


Newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School
Floorplan for newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School

Floorplan for newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School


A report to the committee says:


“The built form of the primary school currently consists of the main school building and nine mobile units, storage containers and shelter area with a mix of hard and soft play areas.


“The current proposal seeks to replace the existing temporary prefabricated buildings with the extension providing additional classrooms and flexible teaching accommodation.



“The proposed extension provides 10 additional classrooms with associated stores, shared cloakrooms and toilet, three resource areas with associated stores, one multi-purpose room, a vice-principal’s office, caretaker’s store and ancillary toilets and storage areas.


“The existing play provision will be replaced on the lands that currently comprise the existing temporary classrooms.


Computer generated image from inside the newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School

Computer generated image from inside the newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School


“There are no proposed changes to the existing parking/drop-off areas, crossing points or set-down areas. The proposal does not include any amendments to the existing car park arrangements.”


The officer said there will be “no significant impact on amenity” for residents in the vicinity. There have been no objections to the proposal.


“The proposal is required to meet the immediate and pressing needs within the school environment. It is highlighted that the proposed pupil and staff numbers will remain as existing, that being 525 pupils and 50 staff,” the report also noted.



Threemilewater Ulster Unionist Councillor Stephen Cosgrove proposed accepting the recommendation to approve the application, seconded by deputy mayor Glengormley Sinn Fein Cllr Rosie Kinnear.


Planning permission was granted after councillors voted unanimously to approve the extension application.


Committee chair Macedon Ulster Unionist Cllr Robert Foster remarked it would be “nice to see some actually built across the borough”.


Neil McAllister, principal, Fairview Primary School

Neil McAllister, principal, Fairview Primary School


Commenting after the meeting, Neil McAllister, principal, of Fairview Primary School, said:


“We are delighted to see that planning permission has been granted for our extension to the main school building which will replace our current temporary accommodation.



“This is another step along the way towards achieving what has long been sought by myself and two past principals. The 10 classroom extension will ensure all classrooms are under one roof, as well as providing much-needed space for activity and play-based learning, small group support and peripatetic teaching.


“As a thriving school, in one of the fastest growing towns in Northern Ireland, it is imperative we have the accommodation to meet the needs of all our pupils. This School Enhancement Programme (SEP) will give us the opportunity to provide even more for our school.


Computer generated image from outside the newly approved extension at Fairview Primary School

“We were excited to share plans with our school community earlier in the year and now it seems, provided capital funding is released by the Minister, that we can plan for the commencement of the project in June 2025.


“We anticipate contractors on site for 18 to 24 months and we will be doing all we can to minimise disruption for our own school community and local residents.



“It should be noted that the school extension will not lead to an increase in the overall enrolment number of 525. These are exciting times for Fairview, and indeed for Ballyclare as other local schools have their own SEP projects advanced.”


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