Planning permission granted for £139 million joint services training college

PLANNING permission has been granted for a new world class training facility for Northern Ireland’s Police, Prison and Fire and Rescue Services outside Cookstown.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced news that the Northern Ireland Community Safety College, based in Desertcreat, had been granted full planning approval.

The £139 million Joint Services Training College will provide new teaching, training and residential facilities together with associated car parking, access, landscaping and other ancillary site works.

The proposal also includes construction of a single wind turbine.

“The granting of full planning permission is an important step in the development of this significant project.” Minister Alex Attwood said: “This is why a timely decision here was crucial.”

“This application was submitted on 15 June 2012. Following detailed pre-application discussions with the chief consultees and the applicant on the main issues and the broad parameters of the layout and design, I am in a position to announce this decision today. ”

The Minister said “significant progress” had been made in dealing with “all major planning applications” and this decision demonstrates the “benefits of the recent initiatives” introduced within HIS Department.

He added: “This timely planning decision facilitates the delivery of a much needed training facility and its contribution is helping the services protect citizens.”

Mid-Ulster SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone said the news will mean another major boost to Mid-Ulster.

“This is excellent news to see another step towards another major investment in the Mid-Ulster area,” he said.

“This project will not only have significant effects in terms of jobs and surpluses used, but also will have a positive impact on local businesses and possibly hotels as well.”

The 23,000 sqm academic campus is due to be completed by 2015.