12/01/2022

Wales News Online

Local & National News for Wales

PLANS have been submitted to build a primary school’s new building on a new site in the Rhondda.

An application from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has been made for the new site of Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Llyn y Forwyn in Ferndale.

The new site would be for 270 pupils including a meithrin/nursery which will accommodate up to 30 pupils and would be located on the site of the former Chubb Factory on the industrial estate replacing the current school on Darran Terrace.

The plans include hard and soft landscaped and play areas, on-site parking for staff, bus drop-off and pick-up points and areas for deliveries and refuse collection.

The planning statement submitted with the application said that the school buildings on the current site are in “very poor condition (category D) and require significant investment with a backlog maintenance of circa £1 million.

“As a result, the existing school building is no longer fit for purpose and, being unable to meet modern-day standards of 21st Century schools, the site is not suitable for redevelopment.”

It said that the current site has limited external play areas and no on-site car parking and that the slope of the land reduces the useable area for play space which is needed to meet the modern-day standards.

A survey rated the suitability of the buildings on Darran Terrace as C meaning the existing school is “not entirely fit for the purpose of delivering the education curriculum due to a lack of facilities on site” the planning statement said.

It referred to the school’s Estyn report of 2019 which said that, although the school’s indoor learning areas were attractive and promoted learning successfully, “the outdoor areas have not been developed to the same
standard, and the use of them is very limited.”

The statement said the application site is currently empty with no public access and the previous industrial buildings have been demolished.

Of the 11 sites that were reviewed as part of the selection process, nine have been destroyed or made unsuitable following the damage caused by Storm Dennis in February 2020, the statement said.

It said that the application site is made up of previously developed brownfield land, sited within the settlement boundary and within the catchment area for the school.

The planning statement said the site has been vacant for in excess of 17 years and the derelict buildings have been demolished.

It added that there are other vacant industrial (employment) nearby which shows the “low demand for the employment use in this specific location.”

The planning statement said:

“The relocation of the school to the
proposed development site will allow for an improved education provision, with the larger site area providing the opportunity to offer both indoor and outdoor high-quality learning facilities.

“As well as providing new outdoor spaces for pupils to learn and enjoy, the
relocation of the school will also result in a dedicated on-site drop off area, which is unavailable at present leading to issues of local congestion. ”

The proposal includes 30 car parking spaces for staff, including two accessible car parking spaces and three visitor spaces, located north of the main school building.

There would be 40 additional car parking spaces east of the main building,
dedicated for parents to use during pick-up and drop-off times.

There would also be 24 cycle parking spaces and 12 scooter parking spaces.

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