South Point Primary School scoops UK planning award
The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s South Point Primary School project has scooped the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Planning Excellence in Health and Wellbeing award.
Announced at a ceremony in London last week, the Council beat off competition from a host of innovative projects to scoop this UK-wide prize.
Awards are designed to showcase and reward outstanding achievements in planning, celebrating the contribution they have made to communities and their impact on the industry.
South Point Primary advanced to the national stage having picked up the RTPI Cymru Award for Planning Excellence in August after it became the first net zero carbon school in Wales.
Cllr Ruba Sivagnanam, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Equalities and Regulatory Services, said: “I’m delighted that the Council has been recognised in this way and would like to thank all involved for their hard work to deliver this innovative project.
“In particular, I’d like to recognise staff from our Sustainable Communities for Learning Team, who have played such a key role in this scheme.
“Planning staff also made an important contribution to project's location, design, and delivery, ensuring the scheme resulted in a sustainable form of development for today and future generations to come.
“This new school building provides a modern teaching and learning environment for staff and pupils as well as a range of facilities for the local community.
“After declaring a climate emergency, the Council has launched its Project Zero initiative, which aims to make the organisation carbon neutral by 2030. Delivering schools like this which are extremely environmentally friendly is a key part of that pledge.
“This is a major project in our Sustainable Communities for Learning programme, a long-term improvement scheme, delivered in partnership with Welsh Government, that will see £149 million invested in top-class facilities and ultra-modern learning environments.”
Work on South Point Primary scheme was completed in February and teaching began at the £5.4 million facility shortly afterwards.
Its revolutionary design means greenhouse gas emissions are greatly reduced and any remaining emissions offset, neutralising the school’s environmental impact.
The building has been designed to achieve net-zero carbon through improved building fabric, maximising solar gain, increased photovoltaic panels with battery storage and an air source heat pump.
There is significant outdoor space for play and sport activities and storage for push bikes and scooters to help promote active travel.
The school also has electric vehicle charging points, green habitat areas containing flowers and trees within the grounds to improve ecology, a playground and a multi-use games area.
Contractors ISG construction began work on the school, which has capacity for 210 pupils and 48 part-time nursery places, in January last year.
Teaching takes place in classrooms across two storeys, while the design also includes a main hall for sport and dining, offices, a staffroom and breakout areas.
The development is the result of a collaborative effort that involved both the private and public sector and saw the Council work alongside Welsh Government, Taylor Wimpey, Aecom, ISG, Stride Treglown and McCanns & Partners.
Judges described this project as an exemplar for schools, helping to set a new national approach in Wales.
They applauded the leadership taken to deliver Wales’ first net zero carbon primary school as part of a comprehensive mixed-use development benefitting the health and wellbeing of pupils and the wider community.
The high-quality active travel links, access to nature and greenspace and the provision of rich learning environments and community facilities were also noted.