Council faces down objections to expansion of Welsh medium school
Rhiannon James, local democracy reporter
A council has faced down objections to green light the expansion of a Welsh medium primary school.
Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Allta in Ystrad Mynach has been granted planning permission to expand, in the face of objections from residents, who raised concerns about how close the development would be to their homes.
Demountable buildings will be demolished and replaced with a two-storey building with four classrooms, in addition to a new car park and a play area.
One resident, Craig Meade, who spoke at the planning committee meeting held on Wednesday, February 9, said the development would have an “overbearing” impact on residents enjoyment of their gardens and lives.
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s planning officials confirmed the development would be a minimum of 15 metres from the homes – within council guidelines.
The application received a total of nine objections from residents.
Residents argued the new building could have been located on the western edge of the site as opposed to the eastern side. Cllr Brenda Miles, who represents Nelson, echoed this proposal.
Mark Williams, Head of Property at Caerphilly County Borough Council, said the western side would not be suitable because of flooding concerns raised by Natural Resources Wales.
His colleague, Chris Young, added the western side had been the preferred location, but for the flooding issues.
Ward councillor for Ystrad Mynach, Cllr Martyn James, expressed his concerns on the ecology assessment submitted as part of the application.
The ecology assessment found that one bat was roosting in the main building, but the report stated it would not be affected by the development.
An Environmental Impact Assessment did not take place, despite advice from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
Cllr James Fussell, who represents St Martins, suggested the proposed industrial design of the building should be changed to have a “softer” finish.
Planning officer, Carwyn Powell, who has been in the planning industry for 26 years, said: “Modern design is different to what we’re used to.”
He added that this type of design is expected to be seen in more developments in future.
Cllr Fussell, a Welsh-speaker, also welcomed the increase in Welsh language education.
It has not been announced when work on the development will begin.
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