School shut for safety reasons as geological risk found
11 July 2019
Godre’r Graig Primary School has been closed after geological experts found there was a potential landslide risk to the school’s playground.
Earth Science Partnership (ESP), the experts commissioned by Neath Port Talbot Council, discovered there is a medium level risk from a quarry spoil tip near the school after the Council asked them to extend their extensive landslide risk investigation work carried out in nearby Pantteg, Ystalyfera.
The risk identified by ESP is linked to springs and ground water near the School. ESP’s investigation found that if the stream became blocked as the result of a severe weather event, there is a possibility that water levels and pressures in the tip could induce material to flow downhill.
After an early draft report on the issue was received from ESP late on Wednesday evening, an emergency meeting of senior Council officers and members led by Council Leader Cllr Rob Jones decided the school should be closed immediately.
Cllr Jones said: “I would like to emphasise that we understand the enormity of this decision, but the safety of our children, staff and residents must be, and has always been, the Council’s priority.”
“We have concerns about the initial findings which have identified a medium hazard risk linked to the quarry spoil above the school and although further investigative work is needed we have, as a precautionary measure, decided to close the school early ahead of the summer break.
“We will be keeping parents informed of developments and arrangements will be made to relocate all the pupils and staff onto an alternative site ready for September. We will work with the Governing Body, the school and the wider community to minimise the effect of this disruption.”
Council officers will be contacting neighbouring owner occupiers shortly to advise them of any action the Council proposes to take.
Further information and updates can be found on the Council’s website at www.npt.gov.uk/godrergraig