Ysgol Gymraeg Dewi Sant: Destined for Llanerch Field

It appears that Llanerch field has become the hot topic amongst local media following what was a void in reporting on the issue. The Llanelli Star published an article “Leaders Speak out against disinformation” (Llanelli Star 27/09/17 pages 14 & 15) which has instantly come under fire from those opposed to siting a new school on the green field site at Llanerch without consideration for the use of brown field sites, of which they claim, there are many.

The committee have taken issue with the article and have submitted an open letter to Llanelli Online containing what they claim to be corrections, which need to be publicly addressed. They refer to each item by paragraph from the original article in the Llanelli Star as follows:

Para 2 – “Llanerch Fields was chosen after eight others were examined as potential destinations”.

This examination was limited to sites within 1 km of the existing school and in the ownership of CCC irrespective what their current designation is under the Local Development Plan, 2014.The school catchment area covers an extensive area of Llanelli and other sites are available within the catchment and include brown field sites.

Para 4 – A Village Green application has been registered to maintain and protect Llanerch Recreational Field as a green space used by the community.

Para 6 – “This was the only one which worked perfectly for us” said by head teacher Anne Clwyd -Davies and the school Governors. It questions the understanding held by these persons of the factors that have been brought to the attention of CCC officers at the consultation held on December, 2016…….

Para 7 – “We are at the point where the issues have been put in order and the plans have advanced”

Afraid this is not correct and is misleading as the pre application documents confirm in the reports contained therein that these issues still exist and need to be reviewed and solutions found.

Para 14 – “The community has been scare mongered with potential implications for the move which simply won’t be the case in reality” said by Aled Owen, Parent and Governor.

It is not in Mr Owens’ gift to give these assurances as they are countered by the community in their objections. The pre application reports confirm that there are residual risks on a number of issues.

Para15 – “What will be lost will be limited.”
The loss of 2.25 hectares of designated green space under the Local Development Plan, 2014 would be a tremendous loss of one of Llanelli’ green lungs in a an area of social depravity. The free use of such areas is essential for the community who have and still enjoy use of the field. The Carmarthenshire Amateur Football League are also seeking the reinstatement of Llanerch Soccer Pitch as the current uptake of soccer is too great for the pitches at Penygaer. In seeking a state of redundancy on Llanerch Field the Council have predetermined that the new school should be located there and all appraisals reflect the bias to this aim.

Para 16 – “However what the community stands to gain is far more than what it will lose”

2.4m high boundary fences to exclude the community from the 2.2 hectares of free green space designated as GS2 under the LDP. Charges for the use of the facilities The cost of managing the overspill car park when flooding occurs Floodlighting causing light pollution in quiet residential areas against the wishes of neighbours. The depravity already suffered by CCC accepting work of poor standards leading to the claim of redundancy The number of reports that are commissioned by CCC expressing residual risks and the lack of consideration thereof.

Para 20 – The underuse of the soccer pitch was as a result of CCC accepting poor workmanship by Welsh Water in producing a pitch of playable quality then taking the opportunity to claim redundancy. The community has made extensive use of the field and wellbeing is measured in many ways and not just organised sport. New facilities will be charged for on a first come basis and deprive the community of the free use of these recreational areas outside of match times. Grassroots sport activity does not require elite sports pitches but properly maintained grass areas that are readily and economically managed. Witness the uptake of the mini football and girls/ ladies training now confined to Penygaer, CAFL support the reinstatement of Llanerch Field to assist in meeting the uptake in amateur sport activity for all genders and ages. Time and time again CCC have confirmed their ability to manage our Recreational playing fields and playgrounds is woeful and Asset Transfer involves/includes the community to greater effect.

Para 21 – Minutes of a meeting between CCC/WW to discuss the tanks involved discussing the wrong form of construction, the failure to understand how the tanks inlet worked and did not make any comment on the residual risk from the extensive sewer network. The Flood Consequence Assessment by Hydrock states that there is a residual risk in the event of system failure which would lead to sewage flowing from manholes towards the Afon Lliedi. It is proposed to build the school in its path meaning the school would be closed and extensive decontamination measures would be required for a return of the school facilities. Who is safeguarding the children in the event of this happening??? There are no specific reports by both CCC and its Drainage Engineer that they accept the consequences as highlighted in the Flood Consequence Report.

Para 22/23/24 – The increase in school intake and staffing will exasperate the current problems experienced by the community The Hands up survey showed that the staff all confirmed that they were single occupants of private vehicles so their requirement for increased parking facility does not bode well in the meek point that staff will be encouraged to car share, use public transport ,walk or cycle to school. There will still be use made of the Penygaer car park as it is the nearest parking to the east entrance of the school. The drop off facilities within the proposal mimic those of the existing car park and will prove to be as inadequate. Overspill parking facility as well as the risk of flooding will encourage pavement parking and congestion as it does now. The survey taken asking residents of Brynduliais Avenue,Cae Cotton and Penygaer have not been reported or responded back to these residents and is a classic case of consultation then do as we have already pre determined.

Para 25 – There is a case for our MP to seek why her sound bites have been taken out of context. The case is expressed that that there is need to engage with the community Lack of communication, transparency, misleading information can all be blamed on CCC. Consultation by the Executive Board has been minimal as they bare reliant on third parties to cut and divide objections. The totally biased view of journalism conveyed by the Llanelli Star acts as a PR instrument for the Executive.

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