Expansion of two Flintshire primary schools to go ahead
The expansion of two Flintshire primary schools is to go ahead.
Earlier this year Flintshire Council signalled its intention to provide increased space for more pupils at both Drury Primary School near Buckley and Ysgol Penyffordd, with both said to be oversubscribed.
This would see the number of children that can be accommodated at Drury rise to 180 from September 2023 following the school’s extension and refurbishment, and Ysgol Penyffordd’s capacity increase to 375 from September 2024 to meet the demand for spaces.
The proposals were put out to statutory consultation so local residents and other stakeholders could have their say, and now that period has ended the council’s Labour-ruled cabinet has rubber-stamped the decision to go ahead with the plans.
Speaking at this month’s cabinet meeting, leader of the council, Flint Castle Cllr Ian Roberts said despite one objection being received to one of the plans, on balance pressing ahead with them was a must.
“Members will be aware that it is the council’s intention to enlarge the premises at Drury CP School and Penyffordd CP School”, Cllr Roberts said.
“The council went out to public consultation. No objections were received to the Drury CP School extension. One objection was received to Penyffordd CP School which included – a lack of foresight on the original build, increasing capacity leading the way to further housing development in Penyffordd, and lack of investment in other local services and amenities.
“While we are grateful that someone has responded to the consultation I think it’s necessary for us today to overrule the objection to allow the school extensions because it is extremely necessary.”
Cllr Roberts added that contrary to what the objector had said, room had been left for extension when the current Penyffordd CP building was originally built.
The council’s chief officer for education and youth Claire Homard asked members to support the extensions.
She said: “We’ve had to go through this statutory process on both proposals because they would increase the capacity beyond 25 per cent.
“The team have undertaken a thorough consultation with members of the public, Estyn and other key stakeholders including the pupils themselves who have had the opportunity to respond.
“I agree with you (Cllr Roberts) we did plan ahead knowing there would be local demand in the area by having the planning for the extension built into our original application (for the Penyffordd CP build).”
The cabinet voted in favour of extending capacity at both primary schools.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter
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