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Plans for new £9.1m special school near Newtown lodged with Powys Council

How the new Brynllywarch Special School could look when finished (graphic from Powell Dobson architects)

PLANS to build a new £9.1 million special school near Newtown have been lodged with Powys County Council.

Powys County Council has made the application itself for a replacement school, ancillary buildings, a MUGA sports surface, landscaping, and associated works at land near Brynllywarch Hall special school, at Kerry near Newtown.

The new build would help provide specialist support and provision to pupils from eight to 19-year-olds with challenging behaviour, emotional and social difficulties.

Agent, Dylan Green of Asbri Planning Ltd explained the proposal in a planning statement.

Mr Green said: “The school is currently housed within the Grade Two listed Brynllywarch Hall.

“The mansion house dates from 1829 and is considered inadequate for modern education purposes due to its condition and arrangement.

“The new facility will provide a modern teaching environment, fit for the 21st century.”

Brynllywarch Hall School near Kerry

The new school building would be single-storey with a capacity for 64 pupils.

Mr Green said:  “The building will accommodate a gross external floor area of approximately 1,730 square metres and will have a total of 11 classrooms.”

As part of the development the school would have a breakout space, calming room, laundry, and hygiene facilities, together with an outdoor learning area which includes workshops and potting shed.

Livestock from the existing school will be moved to the proposed compound at the western end of the site.

Mr Green said that the new school will “better equip teachers” to “tailor lessons” providing specialist support to meet the specific needs of Powys children and teenagers in a “modern and innovative” learning environment.

Mr Green said: “The school will no longer be dependent on demountable accommodation which is currently dispersed across the site.”

The plans also address the issue of having a listed building nearby.

Trees will be planted and when fully grown will screen the school from Brynllywarch Hall.

Mr Green said: “The existing listed building is considered to be sufficiently remote as to not directly influence the appearance of the proposal.”

Parking provision of 31 spaces would be provided, 28 for staff and three for visitors.

It is expected that four of the spaces will have electric vehicle charging facilities.

A decision is expected on the application by July 5 and a further sustainable drainage application will also need to be approved.

The case for the new school building was agreed by the previous Independent/Conservative cabinet in July 2020 as part of its Transformation Strategy for Education in Powys.

A combined Strategic Outline Case and Outline Business Case was then sent down to Cardiff for approval by the Welsh Government.

As part of the former 21st Century Schools Programme, now known as the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme, the Welsh Government will fund 75 per cent of the of the school construction project with the remaining 25 per being funded by the council.