Plans to deliver new modern primary schools and educational facilities in the Cornelly area have moved a step closer following Cabinet approval for the transfer of land owned by the authority and Valleys To Coast Housing (V2C).
Under the proposals, the council will purchase V2C land at Plas Morlais and will use it to build a new English-medium school.
Intended to replace the ageing Corneli and Afon Y Felin primary schools, the new school will be a state-of-the-art development featuring a two-form entry system, a 60-place nursery, a 15-place resource centre for pupils with additional learning needs and more.
Once the new school is up and running, V2C will acquire the Afon Y Felin site from the council.
Designed purely as a way of securing the site needed for creating a new school, the land transaction, which will be based on the conclusions of an independent district evaluator, is not intended to generate any additional profit or income for either V2C or the council.
As part of the council’s plans, the existing Welsh-medium primary school, Ysgol Y Ferch O’r Sgêr, will also gain new buildings and expand onto the Corneli Primary site to become a two-form entry school featuring a 60-place Welsh-medium nursery.
The Integrated Children’s Centre, which is currently located on the Corneli Primary School site, would remain in place.
Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “I want to be very clear that this proposal is all about providing local children with the best educational facilities possible as part of our ongoing school modernisation agenda.
“I’ve seen some comments from people who have wrongly assumed it is because V2C or the council want to build new houses in the area – it is not.
“This is all about developing two new schools and surrounding local children with modern facilities designed to give them the best start in life we possibly can. No one is seeking to generate a profit from the deal, and it remains an entirely transparent process.
“Consultation with pupils, staff and governors was carried out earlier in the year, while a statutory consultation process has also been completed.
“The three existing schools have served the community well, but they are showing signs of their age and each have significant maintenance backlogs.
“This proposed investment will be one of the biggest made into primary school education within the county borough so far.
“We intend to work closely with governing bodies, staff, parents and pupils to ensure that the current sense of community can be maintained, and that the transition is as smooth as possible.”