Why did work commence at Duffryn before planning permission was granted?
The demountable classrooms which were in a poor state were due to be demolished and a new access point created on Duffryn Way was as part of project enabling works.
The removal of the demountable classrooms was carried out following full consultation with the headteacher. The trees were felled following consultation with the council's tree officer.
Why did the application progress to planning committee when NRW’s objection was known?
It is standard practice to take all applications to planning committee and was therefore appropriate to allow the planning committee to determine the outcome of the application.
When was the site last flooded?
There is no record of the site flooding and the school has never flooded. There is a record of significant flooding of the area, where water levels exceeded 5 feet, in 1607.
Is development of the Duffryn site now impossible?
No. A view will now be taken on the management and development of the school site. The planning application is being re-submitted and will be heard by full Council acting as Planning Committee on 19 May 2016.
Is the Duffryn site at serious flooding risk?
The city has witnessed extremely high tides in recent years, but with the exception of a few isolated areas, has not been significantly affected by flooding, including the Duffryn area of Newport.
There should therefore be no immediate concerns for the schools in Duffryn, homeowners or other occupiers of this part of Newport.
What will now be done to reassure parents that children at the Duffryn site will be safe in event of flooding?
Newport City Council education and civil contingencies officers will work with the school leadership team of Duffryn High School to ensure effective flood management arrangements are in place.
The school will be formally adopting the Flood Management and Evacuation Plan and will develop the themes and actions through an annual review process.
Why were meetings called for parents, teachers and pupils when there was no representation from the people who made the decisions to give answers?
The decision to call meetings was taken by the central education team to support headteachers and governors. Council colleagues were invited to attend but were unable to do so.
What will happen now for Duffryn?
Newport City Council remains committed to significant improvements to Duffryn High School. A view will now be taken on the management and development of the school site. The planning application is being re-submitted and will be heard by full Council acting as Planning Committee on 19 May 2016.
Why has a new Duffryn High School not been built?
The council was always committed to the rebuild of Duffryn High School. However, the capital financing constraints, which have occurred within local government across Wales, have meant that difficult decisions have had to be taken, which included not rebuilding the entirety of Duffryn High School on the grounds of affordability.
Pupils and staff are ‘making do’ at Duffryn, but some classes are overcrowded and this is worse since the demountable classrooms were removed.
Work is carrying on to provide a remedy for the current difficulties experienced following the demolition of the demountables and corridor. The development of outside areas in the form of hard standing platforms has been scheduled.
A classroom which is currently out of use is being remodelled to provide for a multi-functional curriculum including specialist science in a laboratory environment.
At the same time work has been scheduled to bring back into use another multi-functional classroom to ensure that art will be delivered until the final location of additional art facilities are available.
What now for the new Welsh-medium secondary school?
Newport City Council remains committed to providing Welsh-medium secondary education. The planning application is being re-submitted and will be heard by full Council acting as Planning Committee on 19 May 2016.
Meanwhile, a formal consultation has been launched on the proposal to legally establish the Welsh-medium secondary school at the temporary location of Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon for September 2016, and subsequent transfer to Duffryn Way, if planning permission is secured.
Work is also underway to identify options for a permanent site in the event that planning permission is not secured.
The permanent location will be along the M4 corridor within south Gwent and will be located within the catchment area already defined for Welsh-medium secondary education which comprises the city of Newport and the area denoted in south Monmouthshire for Ysgol Gymraeg Y Ffin.
What was the budget for the improvement to Duffryn and why haven’t you released it?
The budget for the Duffryn Way scheme was always £13m to deliver a Welsh-medium secondary school; £4m for the Duffryn High School demountable replacement and an additional sum of £4m for the remodelling of Duffryn High School. This has been reported in the public domain.
How much money has been spent on the project so far?
The total spend to the date of the Planning Committee on 3 February 2016 was £1.266m of which £250k was attributed to Duffryn High School and £1.015m attributed to the new Welsh-medium secondary school in order to take forward the planning application and keep the programme on track.
What can parents do now?
The council will continue to accept feedback as we continue to develop and then implement the next steps for Duffryn High, for the Duffryn Way site and for the delivery of a new Welsh-medium secondary school. Your comments are welcomed.