MOVING Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng into a state of the art school building in Welshpool has moved a step closer.

At Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning committee meeting on Thursday, December 3, councillors’ plans to refurbish the existing Ysgol Maesydre to become a 150-place Welsh Medium School were discussed.

The plans include, demolish outbuildings and associated structures and build a new school extension as well as a MUGA  (multi use games area) playing field, landscaping, car park and infrastructure works.

Planning professional lead, Peter Morris, told the committee that a separate listed building application on the Grade II listed building would be decided by the Welsh Government.

Mr Morris said: “We’ve recommended that the final decision be delegated to myself as professional lead, on the basis that the listed building consent application is still to be determined by Welsh Government.

“If that proceeds without a hitch we can release the decision.

“If amendments are required, which may need design alterations I recommend we bring it back to this committee.”

“We effectively leave the door open just in case.”

Cllr Phil Pritchard (Welshpool Castle – Independent) who was once taught at the school, said: “I support this application, it’s something that’s going to be a big positive,”

He added that the keeping the listed building as part of the overall scheme made it a “helluva good proposition.”

He moved the vote to back the proposal

Cllr Elwyn Vaughan (Glantwymyn – Plaid Cymru): “This project has been on the go for a number of years, it was to be a clear brownfield site but then Cadw stepped in and listed the front, and we had the collapse of Dawnus,

“So it’s been a long time and a lot of officers have worked hard in getting this case together.

“It’s not just for Welshpool but for the wider hinterland.”

On that basis Cllr Vaughan seconded the proposal, which was supported by all 20 councillors.

Ysgol Gymraeg y Trallwng was established in 2017 following a re-organisation of schools in Welshpool, and is based in he former Ardwyn Nursery and Infants School at Red Bank.

Welshpool Church in Wales primary school has been spread across three sites in the town including Maesydre.

It is set to move into a new school building next to Welshpool High School on Salop Road in the New Year, which will allow the redevelopment to take place.

The scheme has been plagued with problems.

In March 2018 Cadw confirmed that Maesydre had been given Grade II listed status after been contacted by people concerned that, the former site of Welshpool Grammar School would be demolished as part of the schools building project.

In March 2019, Swansea-based construction firm Dawnus collapsed setting  the project back further still.

The cost of both school building project is estimated to be around £17 million.

The school construction project will be funded 50:50 between PCC and the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme.