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Proposals to expand YGG Aberdâr granted planning permission

Written by on 25th May 2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s £4.5m proposals to expand Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdâr and introduce an on-site childcare facility have received planning permission – with the plans brought to life through an artist’s impression video.

The application for full planning permission was discussed by the Council’s Planning and Development Committee on Thursday, May 20 – and Members agreed with Officer recommendations to approve the proposed development.

The project is included within a £23.9m investment in education for the Cynon Valley, using Band B funding from Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme. A planned £3.69m investment for YGG Aberdâr will increase Welsh Medium places offered by the Cwmdare school, by 48 to 480.

This is being complemented by a separate £810,000 investment from Welsh Government’s Welsh Medium Capital Grant, to create a new 30-place Welsh Medium childcare facility on the current school site. With planning permission now granted, the overall £4.5m project is on course to be delivered in 2022.

On Thursday, the Planning and Development Committee considered the Council’s application covering both elements of the investment, including:

  • A split level extension of the school’s eastern ‘wing’ – to facilitate four extra classrooms, toilets, a break-out area on the ground floor and a fully-accessible childcare facility on the lower ground floor.
  • An extension to the school’s northern ‘wing’ – increasing the floorspace of the existing hall by 80 square metres.
  • An extension of the existing car park on an area of Council-owned land to provide an additional 21 spaces.
  • The removal of two temporary classrooms currently being used by the school (resulting in an overall gain of two classrooms in the project).
  • An additional hard surface play area to replace an existing grass playing field which is unable to be used for large parts of the year.
  • A new dedicated footpath to link the new childcare facility with the car park.

A report to Thursday’s meeting recommended the application for approval, noting that the development would provide much-needed teaching space and a fully-accessible Welsh Medium childcare facility on an established school site – situated within a highly sustainable location. It added that the proposals comply with the relevant policies of the Local Development Plan.

Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “I’m very pleased these exciting £4.5m plans for Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Aberdâr have now been formally approved by the planning committee – representing an important landmark for the scheme and granting permission for the development to take place. As a result, the project remains on course to be delivered during 2022.

“Working towards the outcomes outlined in its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, the Council continues to demonstrate its commitment to expand Welsh Medium education in Rhondda Cynon Taf. While the vast majority of our Welsh Medium schools have surplus places, the Council is taking action in areas where demand exceeds capacity – including at YGG Aberdâr where the school has been using temporary accommodation to cope with demand.

“This project is also being progressed alongside a £12.1m investment to build a new teaching block at Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun in Penywaun – which will increase the school’s capacity by 187 while delivering much improved, modern facilities including sports facilities. This scheme was granted planning permission in February.

“The 21st Century Schools plans for YGG Aberdâr include building four new classrooms, extending the school hall, providing a new outdoor area and increasing parking capacity. The overall project also includes a new on-site childcare facility via the Welsh Medium Capital Grant. It is fantastic to see the artist’s impression video of the significant improvements, which will allow residents to visualise the changes which will be available to the community.

“The Council has welcomed significant financial support from Welsh Government for both elements of the scheme, in what is the latest example of the Council making a local contribution towards the Cymraeg 2050 vision to achieve one million Welsh speakers across Wales within the next 30 years.”