The ageing Cefn Saeson Comprehensive in Cimla, Neath, will be replaced by a £29m new school on the same site after the proposal was approved by Neath Port Talbot Council’s Planning Committee this week.
The new school, expected to be completed by March 2021, will have modern facilities, vehicle and cycle parking (including safe drop-off and pick-up areas), enhanced sports facilities which can also be used by the community, external lighting, CCTV and landscaping.
The existing Cefn Saeson Comprehensive, on Afan Valley Road, Cimla, will remain operational while the new school is built nearby. On completion of the new building the old school will then be demolished to make way for the new sports facilities.
The new comprehensive will have capacity for approximately 900 secondary pupils – identical to the capacity of the current school. The Council’s planning committee approved the project on Tuesday (July 30th).
The Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School replacement proposal is part of the Council’s ongoing Strategic School Improvement Programme (SSIP) and is among the latest phase (Band B) of the authority’s multi-million pound 21st Century Schools building project, carried out in collaboration with the Welsh Government.
The plans for the new Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School include three new access points off Afan Valley Road plus sports provision including a grass pitch, a 3G pitch, a hockey pitch, a multi use games area and a hard play area. Under the plans, the school would open the sports facilities, and some internal teaching facilities, to the local community outside school core hours.
Work could start as early as September.
The committee was told the existing school has a £7.4m maintenance backlog.
The development is proposed to attain a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Excellent’ standard and will benefit from on-site electricity generation via photovoltaic panels. The building has been designed to maximise natural daylighting and ventilation.
The planning approval came with a long list of conditions including time limits and measures to reduce traffic speed on the adjacent Afan Valley Road.
Since Neath Port Talbot Council pledged to modernise educational provision across its schools a decade ago, more than £123m has been ploughed into modernising the Council’s educational estate – a massive investment in the County Borough’s next generations and the biggest of any Council in Wales outside of Cardiff.