08/20/2022

Wales News Online

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Councillors question controversial plans to expand Pentyrch Primary school Cardiff

CARDIFF council will “look into” options for a drop-off point amid concerns that a proposed primary school expansion near Cardiff could lead to traffic chaos.

Ahead of a cabinet meeting next week, which will see a plan to expand Pentyrch Primary School from 140 places to 210 reviewed, members of Cardiff Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee met to discuss concerns around the proposal.

Chief among these is an unease among residents in Pentyrch, a village to the north west of Cardiff, that the road next to the primary school will become over congested during the school run.

Cllr Calum Davies encapsulated these concerns, saying parking is already a “significant issue” along the street, Bronllwyn, at pick-up and drop-off time.

“Lots of parents park on pavements, even on driveways and that of course is mixing with buses taking up lots of space on the road,” said Cllr Davies.

“There has also been talk of staff having to park on pavements as well and that is causing pinch points.

“With the increase in pupil numbers that is going to be accompanied by more staff and that problem exacerbates further.”

Cllr Davies added he had “been informed” of land adjacent to Pentyrch Primary School that could be used for staff parking and to create a parent and carer drop-off point.

He asked officers if that option had been explored or if it would be in the future.

Council officer Richard Portas said:

“We haven’t considered expanding the school site as it stands.

“As a first port of call we would expect an active travel plan to be developed and to work with the school on that front.

“Obviously with a village school it can be trickier with a catchment that goes outside the immediate village.

“When bringing forward major developments, we have to meet certain requirements around parking so that is something I can look into and take that away and see if that is worth considering.”

Cllr Davies backed up his question saying he did not think an active travel plan would be enough on its own to quell any potential disruption and that many parents will not find an active travel plan “convenient enough” for them.

He said: “I think it is important that that provision is put in place rather than saying ‘tough, there is an active travel plan’”.

Mr Portas responded, conceding that having just an active travel plan by itself “requires further thought”.

He added:

“I do know that our highways colleagues are also looking at a park and ride for parents who do look to drive to the area.

“We haven’t got any formal agreements in place for that, but that is something that is being considered.”

The plan to expand Pentyrch Primary School includes a proposal to extend the age range of the school from four to 11, to three to 11 by establishing nursery provision at the school.

With an increasing demand for English medium primary school places, especially with the construction of major housing developments in the city like Plasdwr in Radyr and Morganstown, the school expansion is seen as something that is badly needed.

The consultation responses to the expansion of Pentyrch Primary School will be published ahead of the next cabinet meeting on July 14 and any objections will be reviewed.

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