A NEW school in the pipeline for more than 20 years may be facing further delays.

Durham Road Junior and Infants School, in Newport, was expected to open its doors in September 2008.

But in a full meeting of Newport councillors on Tuesday, local councillor Ed Townsend queried whether this was still the expected date.

Bob Poole, cabinet member for young people's services, said that it would be several weeks until he could confirm this.

Work is expected to start at the beginning of August, but cannot begin until the Assembly has signed it off.

Although the council has submitted a Public Finance Initiative business case to the Assembly it is waiting for the go-ahead.

An Assembly spokesman said: "Newport City Council has very recently submitted a full business case which is currently being evaluated."

Councillor Townsend says he fears the new building could be open as late as summer 2009.

In a newsletter to St Julians residents, he said: "It's time for the council to pull their finger out and get in touch with the Assembly and get it sorted so a start can be made as soon as possible."

Plans to put a new school on the Glebelands have been dogged by controversy since it was discovered the ground is contaminated with metal and oils.

Opponents have continued to campaign against the proposed location.

Outline planning permission was first given for the new schools in 2000 and in 2004 the design, access arrangements and measures to prevent the contamination of groundwater, were also approved.

Earlier this year, work began to prepare the site.