A PLANNING application for a new 480-spaced school in Llanelli has been issued a stop notice by the Welsh Government.
Carmarthenshire County Council is proposing to build a new £9.1m school on Llanerch Fields in Llanelli and were looking to determine the planning application in the coming weeks. Welsh Government will now decide whether to call in the application or not.
The new school would accommodate 420 primary and 60 nursery pupils, set over two floors with larger classrooms with integrated IT facilities, a multi-purpose hall and specialist provision for pupils with additional learning needs.
Over recent years there has been much debate in the area on the choice of site for the new school with campaigners arguing that they support a new school, but object against Llanerch fields being built upon. Last year an attempt to get the land designated as a village green was turned down.
In 2017, Ysgol Dewi Sant, which was the first Welsh medium primary school to be provided by a local authority celebrated its 70th birthday.
Councillor Rob James, (pictured) local member for Lliedi, stated “From day one I have raised concerns that the Council’s site choice and planning process opened the Council up to the possibility of the Welsh Government calling in the planning application. It is clear that these concerns were not misplaced and there is now a really chance that it will be called in.
“As a local Councillor, a school governor and a parent, I am passionate about the need for a new school for the pupils of Ysgol Dewi Sant and it is important that local pupils get the benefits of a 21st century school.
“I will now be working with Council Officers to ensure that contingency plans are prepared in case the Welsh Government state that the planning application does not comply with national planning policy.
“I will also work with parents, pupils, residents and interested parties who are able to engage with the Welsh Government during this process.”
Nia Griffith MP commented: “Welsh Government has put a stop notice on plans to use Llanerch fields for a new school for Dewi Sant. That they have issued a stop notice shows that there are very serious concerns, that can’t be dismissed as ‘just a couple of residents’. The County Council should stop wasting time and get on with drawing up plans for another site such as the one soon to be vacated by Heol Goffa School where preparatory work could start straightaway on the old training centre site.”