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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 November, 2003, 17:42 GMT
Toxic clean-up at school site
Artists impression of the new school
The new school would be situated on a former waste fill
Clean-up plans for the site of a former waste tip containing a cocktail of dangerous chemicals where a new school is planned have been welcomed.

Toxic waste such as arsenic, mercury and ammonium has been discovered at the site of the planned school in Glebelands, north east Newport.

There have been safety fears about building a new school on the site, but reassurances by the company behind the scheme have satisfied city councillors' concerns.

However, a group against the plans remains unconvinced that the land can be made safe for the school and are vowing to continue their fight.

John Martin, chair of the Glebelands Action Group, said: "There are a vast number of people who live around here who do not want the school built on this site.

"We want the school, but we want it to be built on a safe site and for this land to remain as a leisure area.

"We are worried about the site and are not convinced by what has been said about making it safe," he added.

Vinci Investments, the company behind the private finance initiative (PFI) scheme being considered by Newport Council, presented their plans at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

The development envisages building a school for around 630 pupils on the site of the former waste tip, and 142 new homes nearby.

The developers said that after extensive testing of the ground, work to make the area safe would include filling it with clean material and laying down a clay cap before any building work commenced.

During the meeting at Newport Civic Centre on Tuesday, there was unanimous support from councillors following a question and answer session.

Exhibitions

Parents and people living near the site are now being invited to view the plans in a series of public displays.

Council leader Sir Harry Jones said: "We are aware of the public interest in this scheme and would encourage residents to take time to go and look at the proposals.

"There will be lots of information available at the exhibitions and representatives from the council and Vinci Investments, to answer questions."

People have until 19 December to submit their views, and it is thought that the application will be dealt with early next year.

Outline planning permission for development was granted three years ago.

The exhibition can be seen at:

  • 26 November:4pm - 8pm, Durham Road junior School
  • 27 November:10am - 4pm, St Julian's Methodist Church
  • 1 to 5 December:10am and 4pm at the Glebelands Bowls Pavillion.


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