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THE Vale of Glamorgan South Point Primary School project has scooped the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Cymru Award for Planning Excellence.

Announced at a ceremony in Cardiff, the Council received the honour after delivering the first net zero carbon school in Wales.

Work on South Point Primary scheme in Rhoose was completed in February and teaching began at the £5.4 million facility shortly afterwards.

The awards celebrate outstanding plans, projects and people that demonstrate the power of planning.

They highlight exceptional examples of how planning and planners have a positive impact on our quality of life in creating exceptional places and protecting the environment.

The judging panel said:

“An excellent example of partnership working with planning playing a crucial role in project management from inception to delivery. The project design went beyond the Sustainable Communities for Learning requirements and incorporated access by active travel and a SuDS area and biodiversity embedded in the site. The Team are continuing to use learning from this project to inform further schemes.”

Cllr Ruba Sivagnanam, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Equalities and Regulatory Services, said:

“I’m delighted that the Council has been recognised in this way and would like to thank all involved for their hard work to deliver this innovative project.

“In particular, I’d like to recognise staff from our Sustainable Communities for Learning Team, who have played such a key role in this scheme.

“Planning staff also made an important contribution to project’s location, design, and delivery, ensuring the scheme resulted in a sustainable form of development for today and future generations to come.

“This new school building provides a modern teaching and learning environment for staff and pupils as well as a range of facilities for the local community.

“After declaring a climate emergency, the Council has launched its Project Zero initiative, which aims to make the organisation carbon neutral by 2030. Delivering schools like this which are extremely environmentally friendly is a key part of that pledge.

“This is a major project in our Sustainable Communities for Learning programme, a long-term improvement scheme, delivered in partnership with Welsh Government, that will see £135 million invested in top-class facilities and ultra-modern learning environments.”

Its revolutionary design means greenhouse gas emissions are greatly reduced and any remaining emissions offset, neutralising the school’s environmental impact. The building has been designed to achieve net-zero carbon through improved building fabric, maximising solar gain, increased photovoltaic panels with battery storage and an air source heat pump.

There is significant outdoor space for play and sport activities and storage for push bikes and scooters to help promote active travel.

The school also has electric vehicle charging points, green habitat areas containing flowers and trees within the grounds to improve ecology, a playground and a multi-use games area.

Teaching will take place in classrooms across two storeys, while the design also includes a main hall for sport and dining, offices, a staffroom and breakout areas.



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