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Council apply for permission to develop Westport convent school house

News

Anton McNulty

THE proposed redevelopment plans for a section of the old convent site in Westport will be available for public inspection as part of the planning process.
Mayo County Council have invited the public to make submissions and observations regarding the refurbishment of the old three-storey schoolhouse building at the Convent of Mercy site on Altamont Street into Mayo County Council civic offices, as well as incorporating a new library onto the front of the building.
Mayo County Council also plan to create a new landscaped ‘public realm area’ on the site along with the relocation of the Convent of Mercy entrance pillars and gates and the provision of new vehicular access and car parking.
Plans of the proposed development will be available for inspection or purchase at both the Westport Civic Offices on Altamont Street and at Áras an Chontae in Castlebar until November 26, 2019. Anyone who wishes to make submissions or observations has until December 10 to do so.
In the application, Mayo County Council stated that they carried out an Appropriate Assessment Screening Report and has determined that a stage two Appropriate Assessment is not required in respect of this proposed development.
The local authority also stated that following an Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Report there is no real likelihood of significant affects on the environment from the proposed development.
The old school house dates back to 1870 and is listed as a protected structure listed on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. The report into the building stated that ‘a prolonged period of neglect notwithstanding, the elementary form and massing survive intact’.
The only significant development occurred in October 2017 when the outside of the old schoolhouse building was transformed with a major outdoor mural as part of that year’s Westport Arts Festival.
Mayo County Council have not outlined plans for the rest of the convent site which was purchased by Mayo County Council in 2008 for €4 million. The buildings have since fallen into disrepair in recent years and has become a venue for anti-social behaviour.

MPU Mayo