THE preferred site for a new £23m Denbigh specialist school could be agreed this week.

Denbighshire’s cabinet are due to meet today (Tuesday) to discuss Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn, which looks likely to be built on a site on Ystrad Road on a field next to Denbigh Leisure centre, currently used by Denbigh High School.


If agreed, the purpose-built school will be for children with autism aged three to 19.

The school currently teaches at three separate sites, including its main Park Street building, but it is currently oversubscribed, and the plan is to centralise.

Earlier this year, Ysgol Plas Brondyffryn reported it had 136 children but only had provision for 116 – with another 72 on the waiting list.

Once the location is agreed, a planning application will be submitted to the council’s own planning department. It is recommended that the cabinet agree the site.

But members must demonstrate the loss of recreational space on the school playing field will be replaced by alternative outdoor provision which is of equivalent or greater community benefit.

The council anticipate the school will cost around £23.8m with 75% of the capital funding being provided by the Welsh Government.

But cabinet members have been warned that stalling the project could result in growing pressures relating to pupil numbers at the school and rising costs if students have to be placed out of county.

Costs of such provision would vary dependent on pupils’ individual needs, ranging from £30,00 per year to £280,000, the financing of which would fall on the council’s education department.

Earlier this year, Denbighshire's deputy leader Cllr Gill German spoke in favour of the plans.

“It is safe to say we’ve come a long way in the diagnosis and the understanding of the needs of children on the autistic spectrum in recent years.

“I have been in many classrooms where I’ve seen mainstream is not working for some children.

“We know that need is out there. We know we need to meet the needs of children in a place that best suits them, so looking to increase capacity is the right thing to do.”