Welsh medium primary school set to expand
Anthony Lewis, local democracy reporter
A primary school in the Cynon Valley could expand to create more classrooms, a childcare facility and a new play area.
Proposals from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdar in Cwmdare are set to go before the planning committee on Thursday, May 20.
They involve a part two storey and part single storey extension of the existing school for additional classrooms and an extension to the hall, together with a fully accessible Welsh-medium childcare facility a car park extension and additional hard surface play area.
The planning report said the works would provide additional and much-needed teaching facilities for the school as well as a purpose-built Welsh medium childcare facility.
As a result of the works, the school’s overall capacity would be increased from 432 pupils (including 60 nursery places) to 480 pupils (age 3+) whilst the childcare facility would provide 30 pre-nursery childcare places.
Part of the development would include a part single and part two storey extension with four additional classrooms with toilets and cloakrooms and a hall, studio and break-out area at ground floor with a fully accessible Welsh medium childcare facility at lower ground floor.
There would also be a single storey extension to increase the floor space of the existing hall by 80 square metres.
The existing car park would be extended to an area of council-owned land between the adjacent Bryndar Community home and houses on Cherry Court, while extension would provide an extra 21 spaces including one disabled space which would increase the total number of spaces to 42.
The new hard surface play area would be located south of the existing building and replace the grass playing field which is said to be unusable for most of the year.
There would be a new footpath between the childcare facility with the drop off area, a new maintenance access, the removable of the existing temporary units and a sprinkler tap and pump house.
There were some objections to the plans with seven letters received by the council.
They raised concerns about the impact on neighbouring properties and their privacy, the location of the new maintenance access and parking and highways issues.
But planning officers at the council have recommended the committee approves the application.
They said: “The proposal would provide additional and much-needed teaching space as well as a purpose-built, fully accessible Welsh-medium childcare facility within an established school site.
“The site is situated within a highly sustainable location and the principle of the proposal is considered to be acceptable.
“The extensions and associated works are considered to be appropriate to the existing school setting and are of a scale and design that would not adversely impact upon the character and appearance of the site or the surrounding area.
“It is noted that the extensions would inevitably have some impact upon the amenity of surrounding residents however, due to their siting, scale and design, it is not considered that the resulting impact would be so significant that it would warrant the refusal of the application.
“Furthermore, the proposal is considered to be acceptable in terms of the impact it would have upon highway and pedestrian safety in the vicinity of the site.”