POWYS County Councillors are set will to discuss proposals for a new £9.1 million special school near Newtown in the coming days.

Plans to build a new special school at land beside Brynllywarch Hall on the outskirts of Kerry will come before a planning committee meeting on Thursday (January 11).

In May last year the council lodged the application with itself for a replacement school, ancillary buildings, a MUGA sports surface, landscaping, and associated works.

Then in June, it emerged that the Welsh Government had been asked to “call in” the application, which could see the application come before planning inspectors at PEDW (Planning Environment Department Wales) with a recommendation on the scheme passed on to the Welsh Government climate change minister Julie James MS for announcement.


Kerry Community Council has objected to the scheme, partly because the new building is earmarked for greenfield land and for questions about the future of Grade II-listed Brynllywarch Hall, which dates from 1829, but is considered “inadequate for modern education”.

PEDW has still not indicated whether it will call in the application, so a decision by councillors to back the scheme would only take hold if PEDW declines to call in the application.

Senior planning officer Richard Edwards explained that the application is in front of the committee as it is deemed a “major application.”

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Mr Edwards said: “Community facilities such as village halls and schools are essential to the social and physical wellbeing of the community and support the vitality and viability of our rural settlements.

“The LDP (Local Development Plan) supports the provision of local facilities alongside improving access to existing facilities.”

Mr Edwards said that the council’s planning agent, Asbri Planning Limited, conducted a “sequential test” on the best site to select for the new building.

County Times: Brynllywarch Hall School near Kerry

Mr Edwards said:  “This process has determined the site subject to this application to be the most appropriate for the proposed development.

“The other available sites have been assessed and have been discounted for various strategic reasons."

Mr Edwards recommends that councillors give the application conditional consent.

Mr Edwards added: “Should members approve the application then no decision shall be issued until confirmation has been received by the Welsh (Government) Ministers.”

The council has also already approved a sustainable drainage application which is needed before building work can start.

The Welsh Government has been asked to comment.

The case for the new school building was agreed by the previous Independent/Conservative cabinet in July 2020.