Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sainsburys, Llandeilo...and the New School Site

In my earlier post titled Sainsburys for Llandeilo?  I mentioned that the proposed Sainsburys site and it's environs, near the Beechwood Industrial Estate, had been considered for the new 'Dyffryn Twyi' secondary school planned to replace Tregib and Pantecelyn, and was dismissed as unsuitable.
Private consultants appraised thirteen sites for the new school and decided upon the council's preferred option which was in Ffairfach. The other side of Llandeilo. Not a popular choice with many in Llandovery and beyond who hoped that, should the fight to save Pantecelyn be lost, that at least the new school would be nearer than Ffairfach!
So, for the sake of all those wishing to collect their Nectar points (and yes! I daresay I'll be one of them!), if and when Mr Sainsbury reaches the usual farcical 'Carmarthenshire Style' planning stage, I hope he can overcome all these obstacles that the consultant's report identified as preventing this Beechwood site being considered suitable for the new school;
1)  Green field site
2)  Poor connectivity
3)  Cost of bridge over A40
4)  Increase in bus and private vehicle travel
5)  High noise level from A40
6)  Puts infrastructure constraints on the site
7)  Detrimental impact on visual amenity
8)  Significant adverse ecological impacts
9)  High visibility from road
10) Lack of pedestrian links to the site

Oh well, perhaps it's different for a mega-store.....

On the subject of the closure of Pantecelyn (Llandovery) it seems that parents, children and maybe even teachers are being kept in the dark about what is going on, but apparently, and without any further consultation, the Council aims to have 'one school on two sites' by 2012 (at Tregib and Pantecelyn, 15 miles apart). This would be a transitional period perhaps whilst the new school (on the great flood plains of Ffairfach) is built. The authority have also been asked whether there is a Plan B should the funding, on which all this depends, fails to fully materialise from the Welsh Assembly. Apparently...they haven't. We await further developments.
(There are posts throughout this blog concerning the closure of Pantecelyn School)
With the 'Modernising Education Programme' muddling along with morale-sapping uncertainty and many rural primary schools facing amalgamation, 'federation' and closure I was lifted by the Western Mail's Spin Doctor column with his spoof predictions for 2011..I thought 'January' was particularily apt!;

Eyebrows are raised when Education Minister Leighton Andrews announces plans for all schools in Wales to merge.
Describing those opposed to the move – which would see all headteachers but one sacked – as “entrenched in old-fashioned thinking,” Mr Andrews proposes siting the new 15-mile-by-20-mile super-school in Mid Wales “as I’ve looked at a map, and there’s not much there”.

Later post, 28th Jan;

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