A new school and improved community facilities could be delivered in a Powys town if negotiations between the county council, a developer and the community are successful.
Powys County Council’s Cabinet has agreed to open discussions with a development company that could lead to a new primary school, youth and community hall and nursing home being built in Hay on Wye with the site of the existing school being re-developed for retail use.
Cabinet Member for Learning and Leisure, Councillor Stephen Hayes said: “This exciting project is at a very early stage but has the potential to deliver tremendous benefits to the town and surrounding areas.
“If successful the initiative could result in a much needed new 240-pupil school in the town at no cost to the council, a facility that has been acknowledged as essential by the council’s review of primary school provision in the Gwernyfed catchment area.
“There is much work to be done with detailed discussions with the developer Gaufron Developments, Hay and District Sports and Community Association Ltd and the wider community.
“But, the project has the potential to improve the attractiveness of Hay on Wye as a place to live by improving local education, recreation and cultural facilities, as well as providing a new nursing care home.
“As with any major project there are risks and not everyone will agree with all aspects but the possible benefits to the town demand that the plans are fully investigated,” he added.
Matthew Hall from Gaufron said: “We look forward to working in partnership with Powys County Council and the wider community on the delivery of Hay on Wye’s new school and much needed community facilities.
“Ensuring the community’s involvement in the emerging scheme will be very important to us and we hope that, in the coming months, we will be in a position to go out to public consultation to hear people’s views on the plans. We are right at the start of the process and there is much work to be done but the benefits to Hay promise to be significant.”
Leon Morelli, Chair of Trustees of the Hay & District Sports and Community Association added: “Having obtained full Planning Permission for the Youth & Community Hall almost two years ago we have been working hard with Powys County Council and the developers to bring that permission to reality and are delighted with the latest developments.