A potential roadblock to a £49 million Powys school project has been avoided as Cadw opted not to give Ysgol Bro Hyddgen listed status.

There were calls in February for Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic and environment service, to list the Machynlleth school, potentially disrupting plans for a £49 million replacement.

But the organisation has now said it will not list the building, after commissioning heritage consultants to assess the architectural significance of Ysgol Bro Hyddgen against other schools designed by Herbert Carr.

The report has now come back and concludes that Cadw has already listed better surviving examples of Carr’s work, with the Machynlleth school being described as a “school of two main phases” that has resulted in the building having a “stylistically inconsistent assemblage”.

Cadw’s Chris Thomas wrote: “As an educational architect Carr is of interest for his post-war innovations.


“Ysgol Efyrnwy was built as an experimental combined school and community centre which it was hoped would prove an efficient model for providing expanded public services in small rural communities, while Ardwyn Nursery and Infant School uses a ‘cellular’ system with each classroom almost a separate building linked by minimal connective tissue of corridors and covered paths.

“Both these projects of course show Carr’s fairly consistent stylistic tendencies in their glazing, brickwork, hipped roofs and approach to detailing and so there is a resemblance to Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, however the Machynlleth school lacks any equivalent innovative feature.

“We should continue to review Carr’s prolific output on a case-by-case basis when called upon. However I believe we can be fairly confident that with Ardwyn and Efyrnwy we have already listed the best of Carr’s educational buildings, and it is unlikely we will see another building of equivalent interest. 

“We have not done so in Machynlleth as there is no really innovative feature of any phase of the building to raise it to the level of national interest.”

Powys Councillor Elwyn Vaughan, who called the possibility of listing the current building a “ridiculous situation” backed Cadw’s decision.

Writing on social media, he said: “This good news now allows the final planning application to be processed and hopefully appoint the contractors during the summer.

"Some positive news at last.”