PLANS for a new Welsh language school in Cwmcarn have been met with concern.

The former Cwmcarn High School in Chapel Farm closed last year, and is set to be demolished. And new plans by Caerphilly County Borough Council suggest the site will be used as the new home for Welsh-medium nursery and primary school Ysgol Cwm Gwyddon.

The plans form part of the Welsh Government's £1.4 billion 21st Century School and Education Programme, which is aimed at improving existing schools and building new ones across Wales.

But some living in the area have expressed concerns over the plans, with petitions placed in a number of shops between Risca and Abercarn calling instead for a new English-medium school for children aged between three and 18.

The issue has prompted a great amount of discussion on social media, with many expressing concerns over the pressure on existing English-medium schools in the area who have had to incorporate the former Cwmcarn High pupils.

Resident Dafydd Oliver was one of the few who has spoken out in favour of the proposal, saying: “I’m fully in favour of a new Welsh-medium school. It will benefit us all, whereas an English-medium would limit opportunity.”

But his comments were far outweighed by those opposing the plan.

A Caerphilly County Borough Council spokeswoman said: “The council’s 21st Century Schools and Education Band B proposals, including a new build school for YG Cwm Gwyddon, were agreed by cabinet on April 25, 2018.

"Proposals are subject to funding, and the council will be required to submit a business case to Welsh Government for each proposal.

"If the business cases are approved by Welsh Government, full consultation exercises will then be undertaken with all relevant stakeholders, as required in the Welsh Government School Organisation Code.”

A Welsh goverment spokesperson added: 

“Caerphilly Council has had approval in principle of £110.3 million for a strategic programme of investment for its schools and colleges from April 2019, subject to submission of business cases for individual projects.

“We understand that a proposal for Ysgol Cwm Gwyddon is included within their investment programme, however plans to take this forward are at a very early stage. 

“Interested parties will have the opportunity to put forward their views on the proposal once formal consultation begins.”

A public meeting to discuss the plans will be held at Cwmcarn Institute and Village Hall in Newport Road on Tuesday, May 7, from 6.30pm.