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Approval for new Welsh medium school in Flintshire

PLANS to build the first new Welsh medium school in Flintshire for more than quarter of a century have been given the green light.

Flintshire Council’s planning committee has approved the authority’s application to build a new two-storey primary school on land at Ffordd Dewi in Oakenholt near Flint.

It forms part of the council’s strategy to increase the number of Welsh language speakers in the county, and the new site will replace the existing Ysgol Croes Atti building, on Chester Road in Flint.

There will be capacity for up to 240 pupils with room left to increase this if there is the demand in the future. There will also be a part-time nursery with capacity for 30.

Features of the proposal are a wrap around the new building, hard and soft landscaping, a rain garden, floodlit Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), external football and rounders pitches and natural play areas.

The application was broadly welcomed by the committee but a couple of councillors raised concerns about the prospect of parents parking to drop off and collect their children, a hot topic in the county which has been subject to much discussion recently.

Plans for the new Welsh medium school building in Oakenholt. Source – Flintshire Council planning documents.

A joint education and environment scrutiny committee meeting was held on the issue last week, which saw a task and finish group set up to look at the problems caused by parents parking outside of the county’s schools in more detail.

Buckley Bistre East Cllr Richard Jones (Ind) said: “Car parking is always an issue on these things, and I just wanted to know how much thought has gone into the car parking arrangements?

“We know from a meeting had with the education (scrutiny committee) how many challenges there are around car parking and children being dropped off at school.”

Buckley Pentrobin Cllr Mike Peers (Ind) also raised highways and parking issues.

“I know there’s a 96 space car park proposed but that is for teachers and visitors, can you give details on the drop-offs?”, he asked.

Planning officer Claire Morter said there is a circular drop-off area to help prevent on-road parking, and an active travel condition imposed to encourage non-car travel.

A new 96 space car park is planned for staff and visitors, including disabled parking bays, three electric charging bays and four minibus parking bays with room for a further 25 space future expansion.

The application for the new school was approved by the planning committee