Cardiff Council Update: 08 September 2023

Here is your Friday update, covering:

  • Three in a week - the brand-new schools opened for the start of term
  • The Rompney Castle - Cardiff Council steps in to halt the landmark pub's demolition
  • St David's Hall - our statement on the venue's temporary closure in full


The brand-new schools opened for the start of term

Fitzalan High School

The opening of the impressive new school in Leckwith, marks the completion of the £64m project which has been delivered by Kier Construction after it was first given planning approval in November 2020.

Jointly funded by Cardiff Council and Welsh Government, it is Cardiff's latest scheme to be delivered under the Sustainable Communities for Learning Programme and includes a three-storey high school, community swimming pool and provision of four Multi Use Games Areas (MUGA's). There are two 3G pitches available for rugby, football and hockey and the site also accommodates hard and soft play areas as well as a staff and visitor car park.

Accommodating 1850 pupils, construction first began in March 2021 and has closely involved ambassadors from the school who have regularly visited the site throughout its development, contributing their thoughts on the build and reporting progress back to other students. 

Read more here


Ysgol Gynradd Groes-wen Primary School

One of Cardiff's newest primary schools has opened its doors for the very first time this week, as staff and pupils arrived for the start of term at the brand-new Ysgol Gynradd Groes-wen Primary School at Plasdŵr.

The £9million primary school is the first of its kind for Cardiff and for Wales, providing a dual language stream and a Welsh-medium stream.  The dual language stream will consist of 50% Welsh and 50% English, known as a 50/50 split.  In addition, there is a 96 part-time nursery provision which is supported by a Clych Meithrin to offer wrap around provision. The Clych will also operate an afterschool club for pupils.

Located within Cardiff's Plasdŵr development in north west Cardiff, on land South of Llantrisant Road, Ysgol Gynradd Groes-wen Primary School, built by Andrew Scott Ltd, is one of two new schools to open this week, delivered as part of Cardiff's Local Development Plan (LDP), in partnership with Redrow.

Read more here


St Mellons Church in Wales Primary School

A brand-new home for St Mellons Church in Wales Primary School opened its doors for the very first time this week, as staff and pupils arrived for the start of term at the new build £6 million school.

Located at the St Edeyrns development, the new school has relocated from its former site in Llanrumney and is one of two new build schools to open this week, delivered as part of Cardiff's Local Development Plan (LDP) by Halsall Construction on behalf of Persimmon Homes.

The new St Mellons CIW Primary School is 1 form entry, accommodating 210 pupils including a 48 place part-time nursery with the opportunity to expand to a 2 form entry (420 place) in the future. There is a community facility linked to the school with private entrance and interconnecting entrance providing benefits to the wider community.

Read more here


Rompney Castle demolition halted as Cardiff Council steps in

A much-loved former Cardiff pub - the Rompney Castle - could now be saved from the threat of demolition after Cardiff Council stepped in to prevent it being knocked down.

The Rompney has been a landmark in the Rumney area of the city since the 1870s and last year a developer's plan to demolish the building and redevelop the site was rejected by Cardiff Council's planning department on grounds that the development would result in the loss of an historic building that is of considerable significance to the local community.

However, the developer returned in July this year with a separate application notifying of their intention to demolish the building.  Under current planning rules a property owner does not require permission to demolish a property they own, just permission from the council on an agreed method of demolition.

Now, Cardiff Council has served an Article 4 Direction on the owner of the Rompney, removing these permitted development rights - in this case preventing demolition of the pub unless full planning permission is first granted.

Read more here


Temporary closure of St David's Hall to take place with immediate effect -
Cardiff Council Statement

St David's Hall is to temporarily close to the public to undertake additional checks on the Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC) panels in the building.

The decision has been taken in light of the recent change to advice on RAAC in public buildings issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and following further discussions with the Council's appointed independent structural engineers, and the council's insurers.

The council has been aware of RAAC in St David's Hall and the need to manage it from a health and safety viewpoint since 2021, and it has always followed government guidelines and advice to ensure the building was safe.

A building management and health and safety strategy has been implemented at the venue for the past 18 months. This included regular inspections by independent structural engineers with specific RAAC expertise.

Throughout this time no issues were raised about the condition of RAAC in the building and there was no evidence of deterioration - and this remains the case.

However, the Council has continued to engage with its insurers and expert structural engineers and, based on advice received today from those experts, we believe it is prudent and responsible to carry out intrusive surveys to further reassure ourselves and the public on the safety of the Hall. This will require drilling into panels to confirm their interior construction and to determine if any further work is required to ensure continuing safety.  

Consequently, we will be bringing structural engineers - who are RAAC experts - back on site to do fresh tests on RAAC panels in the building.

We expect this procedure could take at least 4 weeks, and we will look to re-open the Hall as soon as possible, dependent on any action which may or may not be required.

We know this will cause a lot of inconvenience and disappointment, and we would like to apologise to all our customers, but we hope you will understand that the safety of audiences, staff, artists, volunteers, and everyone at the venue is paramount, and that the Council is obliged to act in response to the updated HSE guidance and expert advice.

We will be contacting promoters and hirers to discuss the potential for rescheduling performances and to review all other options. There is no need for customers to contact St David's Hall, we will be in touch with all ticket holders about options available to you once we have spoken with each affected show's promoter. We would be grateful if customers could give us the space to undertake this work so that we can come back to you as quickly as possible about your ticket purchase/cancelled event.

The Council has been consistently clear on the need for investment into St David's Hall to secure its long-term future, addressing the RAAC and other maintenance issues, all of which was confirmed in a Cabinet report last year.

We continue to work to progress the transfer of the hall to Academy Music Group (AMG). Ahead of taking over the operation of St David's Hall, AMG had already undertaken its own inspections and has plans in place to undertake remedial work required in the medium to long-term. We will be keeping them appraised of the actions we are taking.

Once again, we apologise to customers of St David's Hall for the late cancellation of shows, and we want to reassure you that we will be in touch to discuss rescheduling of performances and/or alternatives. Please follow the St David's Hall website's news section, for updates. Thank you for your understanding and patience.