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New school site is former landfill

Created on 25/06/2018 @ 08:36
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As the row rages over the extra £3.8 million required to build Welshpool’s two new schools, we can confirm that the Salop Road site earmarked for one of them is a former landfill.

Powys has to find the extra money due to the eleventh-hour listing of Maes y Dre by Cadw as a historic building, and the requirement of extra groundwork on Salop Road after detailed surveys were conducted.

The latter is expected to cost an extra £750,000, and we can reveal that under the surface is the leftovers of Stanley Street, Cumberland Place, Daxes Row and Lledan Terrace as well as other buildings that were demolished along Salop Road 50 years ago.

“That field is definitely not fit to build on in its current state and it will need a hell of a lot of work carrying out on it before it is,” said one of the builders involved in the demolition, but he asked not to be named.

“There will be thousands of tons of rubble there under the surface. Most of it was thrown into a landfill close to the current Rugby Club, and the rest was dumped down Salop Road. It will be a massive job to clear it all up before they can build.”

The issue was raised at Powys County Council last week with Welshpool Councillor, Graham Breeze, insisting that the scrutiny committee take a look at the request for extra cash.

That is expected to happen today (Monday), and we have been told by a council insider that the revelation of extra work only came to light when a detailed site investigation took place showing that the “ground conditions are not suitable to build on immediately because of material dumped there in the 60’s”.

Some residents have also voiced concern that the field is below the level of the canal, sparking fears of flooding, but this has been dismissed by the Council.

“It is not an issue as it is also the case for the housing on the other side of Salop road,” said a spokesperson. “When the canal level rises an automatic sluice near Tesco opens and releases water into the river – it is part of the planning condition.”

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