Cabinet Members have agreed to progress proposals for a 540-place primary school to serve the major Llanilid housing development in the future, following an initial public consultation process.
The housing development received outline planning permission during 2016 for 1,850 homes at the former Llanilid Opencast Site. This is considered to be the first phase of what is likely to be a larger development in forthcoming years – with the potential for at least 3,000 further homes. In order to serve this expanding community, a new education provision must be considered.
At their meeting on Thursday, January 24, Cabinet considered the feedback received during the consultation, from October 1 to December 31, 2018.
The consultation gave residents the opportunity to find out more and have their say on proposals for the new school. The brand new building, which will be built to 21st Century standards by September 2021, will initially be established as an extension of the existing and nearby Dolau Primary School.
This option is considered to be in the best interests of staff and pupils, by bringing the new building under the management of the current governing body and senior leadership team at Dolau Primary. This will allow the Headteacher to utilise the new facilities and enable the school to continue to offer both Welsh and English Medium education to pupils at parents’ choice.
Having considered the feedback received during the consultation process, which is summarised below, Cabinet has now agreed to progress the plans.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “Following Cabinet’s approval in September 2018, a public consultation has been carried out over future plans for a new primary school to serve the Llanilid development.
“This is an exciting project which would provide more 21st Century Schools facilities for our young people – following the recent £85m investment for Rhondda and Tonyrefail in 2018/19, and £7.2 primary school for Cwmaman. The next wave of 21st Century funding, delivered with the Welsh Government, is proposed for the Upper Cynon Valley and wider Pontypridd areas, by 2022.
“There was, overall, a very limited response to this consultation. However Local Elected Members from Brynna and Llanharan, along with the consultees, have raised a particular problem in relation to the existing school pick-up/drop-off points in the local area – and highlighted that there are limited parking opportunities for parents.
“Officers have advised that there are options within the land available for the new school development, which could provide solutions during pick-up/drop-off periods. The Council will continue to work with the developer on this issue.
“Generally, there were no other concerns with the premise of the wider school proposal for Llanilid, which would see the building initially adopted by Dolau Primary School. Cabinet Members have agreed to progress these proposals.”
As part of the consultation, a series of events took place on October 18, 2018, including an open evening attended by 25 people. Officers also held an information session with 72 pupils from Dolau Primary School, from Year 6 and School Council – along with a separate meeting with staff and governors.
There was limited feedback in terms of consultation responses, which included six letters, as well as 10 comments submitted at the above sessions. Education inspectorate Estyn raised no concerns about the proposal.
The new school will be built by housing developer Persimmon with the capital costs met through its Community Infrastructure Levy responsibilities. There will therefore be no capital cost to the Local Authority.
Following Cabinet’s approval, the Consultation Report will be published on January 30, 2019. This will be followed, on February 13, by the Council issuing a Statutory Notice referring to the creation of new Primary provision at Llanilid, by extending the provision at Dolau Primary in the first instance.
Posted on Monday 28th January 2019