RCT Council has started a public consultation on its proposals for a new £8.5m school for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn-y-Forwyn in Ferndale – and residents are invited to find out more and have their say by the end of April.
A public consultation over the plans is now underway and will end on Friday, April 30. Detailed information is provided in the Current Consultations section of the Council’s website, where residents can also have their say via an online survey. Full information on how to take part is available online.
In January 2021, Cabinet Members gave formal approval for the Council to consult on the proposals, which would deliver 21st Century Schools facilities and improve the quality of Welsh Medium primary education offered locally.
The proposals would see a new school building delivered by 2024 on land north of Highland in Ferndale, known as the former ‘Chubb Factory’. Utilising this new site would not alter the school’s current catchment area, and would offer a nearby alternative to the existing Victorian buildings which are not accessible and currently have a backlog of maintenance in excess of £1m.
The current school site has external sloping play areas which make outdoor learning a challenge, while there are no external green spaces available and no on-site parking for staff. Home to school transport currently uses the residential areas below the school, causing disruption to the wider community.
Advantages of utilising the new site would include the provision of modern and flexible learning environments, accessible internal and external facilities for community use, enhanced outdoor spaces to support the full range of curriculum activities, a staff car park and a drop-off point for school buses.
As part of this investment, the Council would also review the local safe routes to school – which could lead to future investment in walkways, road crossings and road safety measures such as traffic calming within the local community.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said:
“Cabinet recently considered this exciting proposal for YGG Llyn-y-Forwyn and, based on the significant proposed investment to improve facilities for the school and the potential of the identified site to deliver the development, Members agreed for the Council to consult with the community. This process has now begun, and residents will be able to access more details and have their say up until the end of April.
“The proposals are aimed at replacing the school’s current limited buildings with modern facilities that are being enjoyed in more communities across the County Borough through our 21st Century Schools and School Modernisation programmes. YGG Llyn-y-Forwyn is performing well, as confirmed by its most recent Estyn inspection – which also commented on the standard and limited use of its outdoor areas. The Council’s £8.5m proposals, therefore, aim to rectify this by providing a new environment which pupils and staff deserve.
“The investment would also contribute towards the outcomes of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, which sets out how the Council will improve and expand upon Welsh language provision in Rhondda Cynon Taf – and contribute to Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 vision. It would complement other upcoming investment projects for Ysgol Rhydywaun in Penywaun, YGG Aberdâr in Cwmdare and proposals for the Greater Pontypridd area.
“I’d urge those interested in the YGG Llyn-y-Forwyn development to have their say on the proposals before April 30. All feedback will be read and considered by Officers in order to help refine and finalise the project going forward.”