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Parc y Werin village green application to go to inquiry

A public inquiry is to take place into a village green application (VGA) at the site of a proposed new primary school at Parc y Werin.

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A planning application for a state-of-the-art primary school at the park was approved in December last year but it's been put on hold while the VGA has been considered.

Planning councillors were told yesterday that while the planning permission still stands, an independent inspector has decided the VGA will go to a local public inquiry, possibly in the New Year.

The decision may mean more delays for the school. 

Cllr Jen Raynor, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Parents of pupils at the school have written to the Council to express their frustration at the delay, which means children will have to weather further winters in classrooms not fit for the 21st century.

"We want to reassure parents, pupils and the community of Gorseinon who richly deserve a new school that the council remains fully committed to them.

"Rather than continue with an exchange of correspondence, I am glad the inspector has recommended holding a public inquiry as soon as possible. He says the scope of the inquiry should be limited to avoid time being wasted on the undisputed aspects of the case."

Following the public inquiry, a recommendation about the VGA will come back to the planning committee for a final decision.

Cllr Raynor said: "The council has always said the current Gorseinon Primary School is not fit for the 21st century because it is situated on three sites, one of which was built well over a century ago.

"We want to create a state-of-the-art primary school which will be flexible and fit for modern teaching for generations of local children for years to come. For the first time the school would be situated on one site and, also for the first time, all pupils would have direct access to green space.

"It is not acceptable in the 21st century that the children of Gorseinon have to put up with toilets and other facilities, some of which were originally opened in the 19th century."

Work on the new school was originally due to have started on site by March this year. The first step would have been to build a much-needed new play area on the park and the new school itself was scheduled for opening in Spring, 2017.

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