COUNCILLORS have formally approved the building of a new £5m primary school in Criccieth.
Having issued a statutory notice earlier this year, members of Gwynedd Council’s cabinet have now formalised the process, allowing work to start on a new 150 pupil school to replace the ageing Ysgol Treferthyr, once planning permission is in place.
Earmarked for a site just off the A497 on the western approach into the town, the authority hopes to open its doors in the summer of 2023, allowing the replacement of the existing “very poor” and “beyond repair” 19th Century building which was extended in the 1970s.
The condition of the existing Ysgol Treferthyr buildings were found to be in “category C,” meaning that the “defects in the overall condition of the buildings mean that it is uneconomical to continue to try to maintain these buildings in future.”
65% of the cost of the new school will be funded from the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Program, with the remainder coming from Gwynedd Council.
While a statutory notice would not usually be required to build a replacement school, the fact that the school’s capacity would be expanded by more than 25% means that such steps have to be taken.
The report presented to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting noted that no objections had been raised during the 28 day consultation period.
Addressing Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, the portfolio holder for education, Cllr Cemlyn Williams, marked the move as a “significant investment” for the area.
Cllr Gareth Thomas added: “I’m delighted to see these plans progress and also the increasing of the school’s capacity.
“Its previously been the case that we build replacement schools to a similar capacity, but it’s been noted that the building of new schools often result in increased pupil numbers due to the brand new facilities being an attractive offer.”
Ysgol Treferthyr had 117 pupils on the books in September 2020, just short of the school’s current capacity of 119.
Cabinet members unanimously approved Cllr Cemlyn Williams’ proposal to approve the report.
Bodelwyddan-headquartered Wynne Construction has already been appointed to build the new school, with work expected to take around 18 months to start by the end of the year.
With submission of the necessary planning application and the process of buying the necessary land now expected to follow, its hoped that the new school will be in place by September 2023.