Detailed plans for a new Welsh medium primary school in Llanelli have been approved.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee considered a full planning application by the local authority to build a new school on land behind Denham Avenue.
The site is to the west of the existing Furnace School which will be converted into an educational store facility under the scheme.
The local education authority’s plans for the new school are part of the Modernising Education Programme (MEP) strategy to review the suitability of the location, size and nature of the county’s schools to meet future educational requirements.
It forms part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme to deliver a sustainable education system where all schools meet national building standards.
As part of the MEP and the 21st Century School’s Programme, the authority undertook a fundamental review of the pattern of future primary school provision in the Llanelli area. Furnace is one of only three Welsh medium primary schools in the area.
An officers’ report said that the review found inadequate facilities, poor working conditions and space restrictions in accommodation at the existing school where 55 per cent of the school’s accommodation is currently provided in temporary facilities such as mobile classrooms.
The demand for Welsh medium education in the Llanelli area means that Furnace School is routinely required to take pupils who cannot be accommodated within other schools.
The officers’ report added: “The applicant’s proposal to enlarge and transfer Furnace school to a new site and to introduce a new nursery facility into the school, as proposed under this planning application, has during the last week been approved by the Welsh Government’s Minister for Education and Skills. The Minister is required to approve the scheme under the requirements of the School and Standards Framework Act 1998.
“The Minister concluded that the proposal should be approved on the basis that the new school will improve the standard of Welsh medium education provision in the area through better permanent school accommodation, and ensure the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum for all affected age groups.
“Provide additional Welsh medium places, including early years places, which will address the current and projected shortfall in the primary sector across Llanelli and provide better access to Welsh medium education for pupils from the area; deliver Welsh medium primary education cost effectively in the area; contribute to meeting the targets of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Welsh medium education strategy.”