PLANS for a new all-through school in Abergavenny have received the backing of councillors, despite concerns remaining over a proposed private nursery.

A public consultation in relation to the governance arrangements for the new school indicated that most people were against the plans.

Out of 207 people who responded, 117 said they were not in favour of the plans, 35 said they supported the plan and 55 said they agreed with some aspects.

But at a meeting of the council’s children and young people select committee on Thursday, members said the results reflected opposition to specific aspects of the development such as the proposed nursery provision.

The plans would see Deri View Primary and King Henry VIII Schools closed, and a new all-through school created on the current site of King Henry VIII from September 2023.

However plans for nursery education for three- and four-year-olds to be “non-maintained” has been met with a backlash.

Abergavenny town councillor Maggie Harris said she and other governors at Deri View were ‘appalled’ when they heard of the plans.

Cllr Harris said the nursery would not be under the control of the school’s headteacher or governors under the plans, adding that the school has the highest percentage of pupils who receive free school meals in Monmouthshire, at 47 per cent, and that they would be impacted.

“There is a fundamental feeling that a non-maintained setting is detrimental to the requirements of the school,” she said.

Cllr Jo Watkins, Monmouthshire council’s Liberal Democrat group leader, said that a private nursery provision brought risks, warning that those on lower and middle incomes may not take up places if they are required to pay fees.

Will McLean, chief officer for children and young people at the council, said the authority will consider the “significant response” around the proposed nursery provision as it takes the plans forward.

But councillor Maureen Powell said the council should not “hold back” from progressing the plans, after concerns were raised in the meeting about a “low level of feedback” to the public consultation.

She said people in Abergavenny were “overwhelmingly in favour of the school”.

“We desperately need this new school,” she added.

Cllr Tudor Thomas said opposition to the proposed nursery was “the major sticking point” in the plans, but he said feedback to the development was “positive otherwise”.

The plans include places for 30 nursery pupils, 420 primary pupils, 1,200 students aged 11-16 and 200 sixth formers.

Specialist provision for children with complex neurodevelopmental and learning needs will also be included, with accommodation for 71 pupils provided.

A final version of the consultation report will go before the council’s cabinet for a decision next month.