As previously reported a terrace of ten houses on Cyfyng Road has been subject to prohibition notices and the council has required its immediate vacation as the residents were considered to be in imminent danger. Prohibition notices are an enforcement tool frequently used by the council to fulfil its duty under the Housing Act 2014.
The prohibition notices relating to Cyfyng Road require the owners to address the hazards affecting each property. A number of the houses no longer have a connection to a sewerage system and as such foul waste is discharging straight onto the slope down towards the canal, and some have lost the majority of their rear gardens due to the proximity of the landslide. In addition to this, there are no protection measures in place to separate the remaining gardens from a sheer drop beyond. The owners of these properties are required to advise the council on how they intend to remove these hazards.
Whilst these hazards do not affect the whole terrace, the stability of the ground upon which the terrace is constructed does affect the whole terrace. The notices therefore require the owners to secure specialist advice in relation to the stability of the ground which supports the house.
Meeting With Cyfyng Road Residents
The owners of all ten properties were invited to a meeting with the council on 25th August to discuss this prohibition notice process further. They were advised that if the hazards in each of the prohibition notices were addressed they could move back into the properties. However if geotechnical reports indicate that the houses cannot be safely supported, then it was unlikely that they would be allowed to return and the council would need to consider the most appropriate course of action going forward in relation to this terrace.
There is therefore the potential that the council will serve demolition orders on the properties to which the risk remains. The council is not at that position at the moment. However, one vacant and derelict property within the terrace has been served with a demolition order as part of a wider focus on health and safety issues in the area.
The council also informed affected residents of the procedures associated with applying for compensation.
Due to the need for residents to vacate their properties they have been assisted by the council and our external partners to move to alternative accommodation. The number of residents affected resulted in some being housed in emergency accommodation for a short period of time whilst more suitable accommodation was identified.
Only one of the families who vacated their properties is still in emergency accommodation although their relocation to more permanent suitable accommodation is imminent.
A public meeting on the Pantteg landslip at Ystalyfera will take place at Ystalyfera School on Thursday 7 September 2017 at 7pm. The council is inviting residents from Cyfyng Road and the surrounding streets in Ystalyfera, in addition to owners of land and properties within that area to attend the meeting to receive an update on the situation.