Ystalyfera landslide-risk school buildings 'may stay shut for a year'

Godre'r Graig Primary School Image copyright Google
Image caption A survey suggested there was a medium risk to the school of a landslide from a quarry spoil tip

Primary school buildings which were forced to close suddenly due to the risk of a landslide could remain shut for at least a year.

Land at Godre'r Graig Primary School, near Ystalyfera, is to be checked amid concerns about a quarry tip above it.

Pupils started the new term in portable cabins at Cwmtawe Comprehensive School, three miles (4.8 km) away.

Neath Port Talbot Council leader Rob Jones said there had been delays in starting the survey.

The school closed early for the summer holidays in July when a geological survey highlighted a "medium" risk.

Mr Jones told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the authority had hired the cabins for two years and had applied for planning consent for them to remain on site for that time.

"Earth Science Partnership (ESP) which is undertaking the in-depth surveys have indicated they will take a minimum of six to nine months, and we have already hit problems," he said.

"The surveys have started but we are aware they have been delayed because of the topography of the area. I'm told it's delayed by six weeks already.

"In that case we would have come very close to the 12-month mark. Two years gives us a safety buffer."

Mr Jones said he expected an interim report in December or January on the potential risk to children and staff if they returned to the school premises.

He said he disagreed with "certain factions in the community" which saw the initial report by ESP as "alarmist" and the council "being hasty in its actions".

"I will not compromise in relation to any element of risk where children and staff safety is involved," he added.

In 2017, residents in nearby Pantteg moved out of their terraced homes due to concerns over landslips.

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