THE site of a primary school which is due to close this year will be marketed for residential development.

Pontymoile Primary School’s 2.2-acre site in Cwmynyscoy was ruled surplus to council requirements by Torfaen cabinet members yesterday.

As the school is due to close in September, it will become surplus to the education department’s requirements and no other council service intends to occupy the property.

Last September, the Welsh Government approved the council’s proposal to close the school under the 21st Century Schools programme.

Council officers have deemed the school site big enough to be of interest to residential developers.

A report to cabinet members highlighted that there is the potential to generate a capital receipt which can then be invested in the council’s capital programme.

The ward member for Cwmynyscoy, Cllr Neil Waite, put forward a number of alternative uses that were highlighted within the report.

He suggested that the school building could be transferred to the local community to be used for Communities First, as an office for Cwmynyscoy Communities Action Trust, or as drop-in centre for the local community.

He also suggested that if the Pontymoile site is to be redeveloped, then the development should include housing for old age pensioners. He added that if the end use is a general housing development it should include a play area for local children.

The report highlighted that the site should be marketed for redevelopment and if developed for housing, planning policy requires an element of affordable housing and provision of children’s play facilities to be included.

It further states that the reason for bringing the matter to cabinet in advance of the school’s closure was to minimise costs incurred when the property is vacant.

In addition, the longer the property remains vacant then there is an increased risk of vandalism and anti-social behaviour taking place and further costs being incurred.

The cabinet agreed the recommendation, and preparations for disposal of the site will now commence.