A SIX million pound project to extend the age range of pupils at a Welsh-medium school in Torfaen has moved a step closer.

Torfaen council's cabinet approved moving to the next stage of the proposals which would see Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Trevethin, Pontypool, become the first school for pupils aged 3-18 in the borough.

Fully funded by the Welsh Government, the scheme is aimed at increasing the amount of Welsh provision in the borough.

Nursery and primary education would be provided at the school, which currently caters for pupils aged 11-18.

Cabinet members voted to move ahead with publishing public notices about the plans at a meeting on Tuesday.

Mark Horton, director for children and young people at the council, said the proposals would allow more pupils to attend a school close to where they live rather than having to travel.

"We are trying to get schools to the right size and the right place," Mr Horton said.

"What this would do - if the school opens - it will take a period of time but we will have children going to their local school rather than being bussed out of the area [to other schools] which is the case at the moment."

Under the plans the extra provision would open in September 2021 as a seedling school, initially with a nursery and reception class only and then growing each year.

An on-site nursery established for 30 full time equivalent three and four-year-olds would be established under the plans.

Welsh Medium primary school catchment areas would also be amended to reflect the additional proposed provision.

A six-week consultation on the plans included concerns over staffing the school and the impact of the plans on surrounding roads, including the St Cadoc's housing estate.

But Cllr David Yeowell said there were "considerably more pros than cons" to the scheme.

Cllr Veronica Crick said there were "many benefits" to having a school for pupils aged 3-18.

Mr Horton added: "It will be potentially the first 3-16/18 school in the borough and there's a real opportunity to move forward with that type of learning."

A public notice will now be issued about the plans, giving 28 days for any objections to be lodged.