New school building approved for Priory Integrated College

3 July 2024

Working alongside Isherwood and Ellis Architects, we are pleased to have secured planning permission from Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Planning Committee for a new post-primary school which will become the new home of Priory Integrated College, including a car park, bus drop-off area, Special Educational Needs (SEN) accomodation and playing pitches with floodlighting, on behalf of the Education Authority for Northern Ireland.

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The new school will be located on the site of the former Redburn Primary School on Old Holywood Road, a brownfield site only a kilometre from the site of Priory’s current campus on My Lady’s Mile in Holywood.

At its current location, Priory caters for around 600 pupils aged between 11 and 18 on a 1.96-hectare site. This site area and its accommodation fall considerably short of the areas recommended in the Department of Education’s schedule of accommodation for a 600-pupil post-primary school, hence the need to upgrade to new, handbook compliant facilities on Old Holywood Road.

The site of the new school rises from the Old Holywood Road in the west to Redburn Country Park in the East, passing on into the Craigantlet Hills. As such, it benefits from an elevated location with a panoramic view capturing Belfast in the south west to the mouth of Belfast Lough in the north. The layout of the site has been responsively designed to address its topography – for example, through the strategic placement of teaching spaces and communal areas to maximise sunlight – and also to integrate appropriately into the natural setting (Redburn Forest) which acts as its striking backdrop, seeking to retain existing boundary vegetation and supplement this with the planting of native species to enhance biodiversity.

We know that this development will greatly improve the experience of both pupils and teaching staff at Priory alike, and look forward to seeing its construction.

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