NEWPORT council is ready to take the next step towards the development of a long-awaited new school.

Land at the Glebelands Recreation Ground is needed to build the primary school which will replace the crumbling Durham Road buildings.

The authority also needs to dispose of an area of the land for a residential development which will be used to partly fund the new school.

Councillor Ron Jones, cabinet member for culture and recreation, is being asked to approve publication of a notice setting out the authority's intentions.

A replacement for the crumbling Victorian Durham Road schools was first proposed a number of years ago.

But the proposal to site it on the Glebelands Recreation Ground, together with a residential development has always been surrounded by controversy.

As well as concerns over funding the new school by a Public Finance Initiative, some objectors also voiced fears that it was being built on contaminated land.

But, after numerous delays, planning permission was given for the school and housing and this month the Assembly gave the go-ahead for the PFI scheme.

In a report to Councillor Jones, the council's parks and outdoor manager said the new school will be built of 5.91 acres at the Glebelands on the site of the former running track and centre pitch.

Mike McGow added the former redgra sports area and surrounding land, together with the old Compton Webb site, will be sold for a residential development.

Both the track and redgra were "obsolete and surplus to the city's requirements".

The new school development will include a multi-use games area as well as a floodlit artificial turf pitch which can be used by the school and community. New changing rooms and toilets will be provided while the car park is due to be upgraded.