My Department has received an application for improved accommodation at Kilconley national school, Ballybunion, County Kerry.
Progress on this application will depend on the development plan for the north Kerry area resulting from the new model for school planning, which I announced earlier this year. The new school planning model will be piloted in five areas, one of which includes Ballybunion, over the remainder of the school year, with development plans being drawn up for these areas. My main objective is to ensure that all relevant parties have a say and that the process is open and public.
The Commission on School Accommodation will conduct the public engagement and all submissions made to the commission by interested parties will be published. The commission will then draw up a draft development plan for the area, against which, following acceptance by the Minister, the planning and building unit will assess all applications for capital investment.
A decision on the application from Kilconley national school will be made in the context of the development plan for the north Kerry area.
The provision of essential mainstream classroom accommodation, over and above the current complement of mainstream permanent classrooms, takes priority in the publication of the 2004 school building programme. All projects that are not going to construction as part of the 2004 school building programme are being reviewed with a view to including them as part of a multi-annual building programme from 2005 onwards. I expect to be in a position to make a further announcement on this matter during 2004.