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Fitzalan High School

Authority: Cardiff Council 


Application 1: 


Full planning application for the relocation of the existing Air Dome, throws area and football pitch (upgraded to a Tier 2); provision of new 3G rugby / football pitch; 2no. MUGAs and changing facilities. The relocation and provision of these new sports facilities was to enable the building of the new Fitzalan High School.


Planning issues:


The application site is constrained with Lawrenny Avenue to the north; the existing schools; business and sports facilities in close proximity.  Therefore, careful design and layout was crucial to the successful delivery of the project.  Part of the site falls within a ‘River Corridor’ designation and flood zone 1A, with a major easement running through the site to the west.  The site historically was a landfill and has contamination present. 




The Project Team included Austin Smith Lord (Architecture and landscaping), Jubb (Civil & Structural Engineers; transport and geotechnical advisors), Aecom (Building Services & Sustainability), JBA Consulting and Wardell Armstrong providing ecology input and KEW Planning as planning consultant.  The collective team worked hard to ensure all of the planning matters issues were successfully dealt with.


Significant engagement with key stakeholders was carried out during the project, both during the Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) and post.  


The project team worked closely with these stakeholders, to provide an alternative solution and ensure no net loss of playing fields at the local primary school, as well as the continued protected privacy and amenity for neighbouring occupiers, together with new planting and landscaping work to maintain green areas. 


KEW Planning successfully negotiated with all statutory consultees and had close liaison and built a good relationship with the Planning Officer, to deliver no objections from all parties.  The result was a unanimous approval was achieved at Cardiff Council Planning Committee in March 2020.

Application 2:


The Full planning application was for the following:


  • Erection of a 3 storey high school to accommodate 1850 pupils (10 form entry school, which will accommodate up to 1,500 students between the age of 11 and 16, plus a sixth form)
  • New community swimming pool.
  • Provision of 2 MUGAs.
  • Provision of 1 3G rugby / football pitch.
  • Provision of 1 under 16 hockey / football pitch.
  • A staff car park (47 spaces) and visitor car park (24 spaces including 8 disabled bays).
  • Associated hard and soft play areas.


Application 3:


An Outline planning application was for the following:


  • Provision of 1 grassed sports pitch (with cricket nets).
  • Provision of 2 MUGAs.
  • Pedestrian and cycle route through connecting Broad Street to Lawrenny Avenue.
  • Cycle parking area for 104 cycles.


The development represents a £63.5m investment in the local community.  The new school will offer comprehensive sports facilities, including a multi-use games area, 3G pitches and a new indoor swimming pool, replacing the current pool, which is already extensively used by local schools and community groups.  


Planning issues:


Applications 2 and 3 were the second phase in the project, following the approval of the Enabling Works planning application in March 2020.  The Pre-Application Consultation was undertaken during the COVID pandemic; consequently, to ensure the public and stakeholders had access to the plans, Consultation Summary documents were prepared, which explained the scheme fully with the drawings and outlined the technical issues, including the design, layout, environmental considerations, transportation impacts hard copies of the scheme, together with online documents.  The design had to protect the Site of Important Nature Conservation (SINC) located in the application site; ensure the residential amenity of the neighbouring residents would be protected and have adequate visual outlook and ensure the amenity of other stakeholders in the locality were protected. 




Both planning applications were unanimously approved in November 2020 at the virtual planning committee, with the Chair of Planning Committee commending the design team on the fantastic design of the new school and range of sports facilities available. 

Application 1: New sports facilities layout


Application 2:  New Fitzalan High School, Leckwith Road


Application 3:  Sports facilities at existing Fitzalan High School, Lawrenny Avenue


Masterplan for the comprehensive scheme