A £9m new primary school serving Neath Abbey catering for 520 pupils and featuring a grass rugby pitch, a mixed-use games area plus soft and hard play areas has been granted conditional approval by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Planning Committee.
The new school will be built on the site of the former Dwr y Felin Lower Comprehensive School and will replace the current Abbey Primary School which will continue on its three separate sites while construction goes on.
The primary school at Neath Abbey will be the latest development in the second phase (Band B) of Neath Port Talbot Council’s dynamic Strategic School Improvement Programme which has seen more than £123m invested in modernising Neath Port Talbot’s educational estate, including:
- Awel Y Mor – a £7.9m primary school in Sandfields.
- Ysgol Bae Baglan – The award winning £40m all-through facility on Baglan Moors.
- Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera – A £16m Welsh medium school in the Swansea Valley. A new £3.5m teaching block for primary aged pupils has also opened there.
- Ysgol Cwm Brombil – A £30m all-through school in Margam with 78 miles of data cabling.
- The £19.3m Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur – A Welsh medium school for 11 to 16- year-olds in Sandfields.
- The £7m Ysgol Carreg Hir in Briton Ferry.
Some of the key design features of the Neath Abbey school include easy connections to the school’s new sports facilities, a sports hall which can be used by the community, the primary pupil entrance being from hard social space which will be good for safeguarding and a split car park which will segregate the parents’ drop off point from the staff parking area.
The school site will be secured with a fence to ensure access can be controlled and monitored and the development also includes CCTV security within the site itself. There will be 46 full time staff, six nursery staff and 11 part-time staff.
The school has targeted a minimum 25% reduction in energy consumption relative to current building regulation standards by adopting initiatives such as photovoltaic panels, “breathing building” passive ventilation to classrooms, a 40% increase in insulation and natural light being complemented by automatically dimmable electric lights controlled by sensors.
Cllr Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, said:
“This development for the community of Neath Abbey will be another key landmark in Neath Port Talbot Council’s ambitious plan for creating the best possible environment for teaching and learning. It will help us continue to improve standards, making sure the right schools are in the right place, and that they are fit for 21st Century learners.”