Llanelli school to be relocated to former copperworks site near Ysgol Pen Rhos

GREENERY, outdoor spaces and lots of natural light play a central role in the design of a new special school planned in Llanelli.

It will replace Ysgol Heol Goffa and be built at the former Draka copperworks site, close to Ysgol Pen Rhos, subject to planning consent.

Its relocation is no secret – former council leader Emlyn Dole made the announcement at a school assembly in 2017 – but a pre-application consultation on a full planning application is now under way.

The new special school would have 132 places for three to 20-year-olds and feature a landscaped central courtyard, learning garden, wetland planting area, main hall, hydrotherapy pool and multi-use games area.

There would also be a multi-purpose track for running, cycling, scooters and go-karting featuring winding sections and small ramps.

Each classroom, or “class-base”, would have its own outdoor area, wildflowers would grow at the front of the school, and trees would be planted just to the east. The design team looked at school and other buildings in the UK and abroad to see what could work well.

Cllr Glynog Davies, cabinet member for education, said: “It is pleasing to see that progress is being made to provide Ysgol Heol Goffa with a new replacement school building.

“The new build facility will deliver safe and modern 21st Century teaching and learning facilities which pupils, staff and the community truly deserve.”

Access to the school would from the the south, not Heol Copperworks to the north where access to Ysgol Pen Rhos is. The land is close to where the £200 million Pentre Awel wellness and life science village is being built.

Concrete slabs are pretty much all that’s left of the Draka copperworks and its successor, a wire production facility. There are also mounds of waste material, which would be removed.

Another element of the plans for the site is a five-bed respite centre to replace Llys Caradog Children’s Centre, Llanelli. The respite centre would be surrounded by greenery.

People can have their say on the pre-application consultation, which closes on February 24 and is being run by Asbri Planning.

Carmarthenshire councillors rubber-stamped the relocation of Ysgol Heol Goffa, which has 75 places but is over-subscribed, at a meeting in May 2021. There were 101 pupils on the school roll as of January 2020. Councillors were told at the meeting that the cost of the new school was estimated to be just over £17 million, up from £10 million when its relocation was confirmed six years ago.

Estyn inspectors judge the school’s performance, learning provision and improvement prospects as excellent in 2017. Outcomes were judged as good.

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