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Plans for new school in capital set to go ahead

09 May 2024 2 minute read
A potential layout of the new Willows High School. Picture: Cardiff council

Ted Peskett Local Democracy Reporter

Plans to build a replacement secondary school in Cardiff are set to be given the go ahead.

Cardiff Council’s planning committee will meet this week to make a decision on an application to build a new Willows High School in Splott.

If approved, the school, which was one of the city’s most undersubscribed in 2023, will be able to accommodate hundreds more pupils.

Former market site

The current Willows High is located on Willows Avenue in Tremorfa and the application proposes moving it about 1km away to land formerly occupied by Splott Market at the bottom of Lewis Road.

A council report on the plans, lodged by the local authority, states the current building has reached the end of its life.

The same report states that in 2017, the school had a maintenance backlog of more than £3.8m.

The current school caters for 700 pupils. If built, the new one will cater for 200 more, as well as having a purpose-built special resource base for 30 pupils.


Cardiff Council received a letter from Brakespeed Investments Ltd, which owns an industrial site adjacent to the application site, raising concerns about plans to reduce the width of the nearby Freshmoor Road.

The company told the council it thinks the new school will be “fantastic” if approved.

However, it added that reducing the width of the road to make way for a new active travel route will impact access for its existing tenants and restrict future tenants to access the industrial units.

Tom Young said in a letter to the council that his family’s business has “not been consulted directly to explain that this would happen and this will be detrimental to the businesses that operate from the site”.

He added it could potentially mean “that businesses can’t operate from the site as they used to”.

The planning application was subject to a 21 day consultation period starting from January 29.

Cardiff Council said in its report on the plans that it responded to the letter from Mr Young, “noting that the active travel route has already been permitted… and access is still retained to the site in question”.

Cardiff Council’s planning committee will meet to discuss the plans on Thursday, May 9.

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